Published May 1st, 2023
by James G. Piatt
(Santa Ynez, California, United States)
It was one of those balmy spring days in the
woodland, when an elderly man walked on an
ancient deer path by the side of a rippled blue
stream flowing lazily toward a placid lake far down
the meadow. The tepid air was motionless and
tranquil. Not even a leaf stirred in the trees. It was
as if he were in another place, at another time,
perhaps not even of this world, not the world in
which everyone else existed. Today, the clouds were
a luminescent grayish-white, and the clear blue sky
framed them in timelessness. His aged skin felt the
warmth of the sun as he sat beside the river. He
heard the soft murmuring of tiny flies as they
danced around his head. He felt the temperate
breeze upon his face, soft, balmy, and gentle.
Leaves from trees wavered ever so gently as if a
fairy had wafted a magic breath upon them. He
knew that days like this would soon vanish, and
inevitably, the sun's heated rays would bounce off
the earth. Then, soon after, the winds and rains of spring
would leave, the days would get warmer and brighter.
Lent and Easter would end and another summer season
would slowly begin anew. It was all so predictable, so
constant, like life and death. He wondered if he would
be able to hike along the unhurried ancient deer path
to this extraordinary, serene place; if he would still be
able to sit under the large sycamore tree amid granite
rocks and boulders, and bask contentedly in the heat
of the summer sun. Such are the rambling thoughts
of an elderly man whose life span was slowly dwindling
into the past, but whose experiences in the woodlands
had been so serene and wonderful.
James G. Piatt is a two times Best of Net nominee and three times Pushcart nominee. He has five poetry books, The Silent Pond, Ancient Rhythms, LIGHT, Solace Between the Lines, and Serenity. As well, over 1750 poems, five novels, and thirty-five short stories published in hundreds of national and international magazines, anthologies, and books. He earned his doctorate from Brigham Young University, and his BS and MA from California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo.
This poem is included in Poetry World #6, published in the Wax Poetry and Art Library.
Previously published in California Poetry Magazine:
The Comfort of the Wind
by Mia Balsley
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