Peter Chapman Poetry


it was dark out and i walked the path carefully,
not sure of my footing, or the time, or the colors
i'd been given to research this strange adventure

boats bobbed gently at their moorings in the distance,
across a long field of gold & green grass, partly cut,
the old shiny mower left perfectly in a composition
of thirds and triangles just below the horizon
of the sea and the white buildings in the village
whose shadows played little compositions of
happiness as i walked closer
to the blues of the water and the sky

i thought i might find you this way,
you said you might be here, or
somewhere like here, your eyes
making a sort of curled paper in a bottle,
promising gifts of fire & cool tracings
to the hands that found & opened you
and could know, eventually, you
wanted nothing more than
a dense life of joy & sacrifice

i felt good as i walked; it was okay
to be lonely, if that was what you
had to work with, & you didn't get lost
in the worry of it but let your salt wash
in the earth's cracks and you put your arms
out & kept your head up so you could
see everything and have a posture
for those who might want to know you

birds & squirrels moved in the trees
putting music on the day as i stepped

over rocks and roots, slipping
from slick to firm ground, and i saw
the horizon dip with my progress as i came to you,
righting myself into a true companion,
comfortable with my deep thin
pockets unstuck from time

the rich smell of pine filled my nose
as i walked out into the meadow and
now i could see commerce in town, people
stopping to speak and gesture, dogs
running alongside children who rode bikes
without racing or falling from them, and
it was strange how the meadow ran right
up to the town, like a prairie, undisturbed
by the usual confused thicket declaring
your approach to settlements

people i'd seen from afar smiled
as i entered their day, ready for anything
to happen, for a funny proposition
or the reminder of an old grief or
a prayer i might be bringing like
a fighter torn loose from war, a few
children now tugging at my pants,
burred somewhat from my hiking