June 28, 2009
Our fourth poetry hike turned out to be a bit of a challenge. Although technically an easy hike according to the GMC rating system, the 3.4 miles from Jonesville to Duck Brook Shelter proved closer to moderate in difficulty: the heavy rain the day before had made the open rocks extremely slippery as if someone had wiped them with a coat of soap. In spite of this, all eleven of us made it safely in and back.
At the shelter, our poetry and prose readings ranged from Sappho and Jenny Joseph to Samuel de Champlain and John Muir. George read one of his own poems about early settlers in what is today Groton State Forest (see below.) The readings were accompanied by the gurgling of Duck Brook below the shelter.
We reached home before more predicted rain arrived.
Larger photos on
Resting in Groton Forest|
by George Longenecker
Marcy and Joseph Heath, asleep
in the Vermont soil for a hundred-sixty years,
turned forests full of glacial boulders into pastures,
lovers and farmers they still sleep close
as they slept on winter nights for fifty years.
Tonight Mars is as close to Earth
as it has been in 60,000 years,
pyrite red in the eastern sky,
chasing an apricot moon through the night.
What was once their farm,
eked out amongst Pleistocene boulders,
has returned to forest, the stony grave plot
a tangle of balsam with thick moss underfoot.
For a few hours Mars and the moon traverse the sky;
moonlight reflects through the balsams,
illuminating two graves in the woods,
the farm and their lives a moment in the night.
Cynthia M. and Mary G. (Photos by Reidun)
Carol W. and Mary S.