Friday, August 06, 2004

Banks and Mortgages, Tracks and Trails

Again I took a walk last night, yet decided to go in a different direction, following the river upstream. But I was diverted by construction along the way. They’ve been creating a grand concourse through a hillside leading shortly I thought to some intended building. But as I followed the wound through the woods, the new road swerved and continued. On and on and on, for what seemed like a mile. My God, what destruction has been wrought!

Tracking a New Development

Last night I tracked the fresh prints of a bank.
It must have leaped beyond the ATM
and landed on this hillside. Everywhere
its spent refrains performed a requiem
for woodlands—or some marching music played
on caterpillars, trucks, and renegade
bulldozers. Sky was visible where leaves
had once protected innocence and brute
survival. Following its scat and stride,
I ascertained the twisted torn-up root
of progress, if not evil. No surprise—
it’s not our nature to apologize.
This brutal innocence to forever survive,
despite knowing all trails will meet their fate—
good heavens!—leaves us helpless to protect
our inner landscape, never mind the great
outdoors. And then I wondered what I’d pay
to mortgage life upon this pleasant way.
But, on reflection, some old-timer must have felt the same way about the clearing in the woods made 40 some years ago when they made way for the building in which now I live. One man’s building is another man’s ruin.

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