Mountain Rambles on August Days

Often on steep sloping sides I
See shadows by shadows and
Songs of birds in trees
I cannot find. Where

Are we going? The path leads
Up and on. The

Sign-post is broken and
Points off to ruined homes high
Up hills. Nothing but
Old stones still held up

By time and the thought
That us and we can fight
Through storms to summits where
There is nothing left except

Lightning strikes and huge
Pieces of rough-hewn marble with
Dates and names of people long

Since settled back into
The earth. It holds us out
And brings us back once
Again… these views and

Vistas of trails hiked once
And seen now from the distance –

The long view taken from
The trail we never took.

15 thoughts on “Mountain Rambles on August Days

  1. Sherry Blue Sky August 28, 2016 / 4:53 pm

    Oh that is a thought-provoking ending: “The long view taken from the trail we never took.”


  2. Sumana Roy August 28, 2016 / 5:11 pm

    “That us and we can fight / Through storms to summits” that we can indeed…beautiful views and thoughts…


  3. Kerry O'Connor August 28, 2016 / 5:20 pm

    I love the sense you have created of the rambler of the present walking a path trodden for many centuries by the feet of those unknown, yet sharing the same vistas.. very thought-provoking in its lyrical wisdom.


  4. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) August 28, 2016 / 7:42 pm

    Of course this takes me directly to the views from below to the magnificent 14 000:ers ,,, The afternoon lightning, and those dreams you might have of climbing those steep paths… and there comes a day you realize you are bound below… wonderful (and yes the allegoric theme as well).


  5. jae rose August 28, 2016 / 7:43 pm

    Shadows of shadows permeate this piece..I wonder if we considered all the options would we be able to walk ahead at all…life is a ramble of unknown ground at best..perhaps even being able to step back and look at alternate paths shows we kept walking as augustly as we possibly could


  6. Audrey August 28, 2016 / 8:06 pm

    I like graveyards, and I love walking through them wondering about the lives of the people there–beautifully penned piece!


  7. Magaly Guerrero August 28, 2016 / 10:11 pm

    I like the hesitation permeating almost every break. It’s as if the end of the poem is gathering force, looking over its shoulder, already wondering about all those un-taken paths…


  8. Wendy Bourke August 28, 2016 / 10:59 pm

    I enjoyed this mountain ramble, which I took as a loose allegory to life’s passages … the specter of those who have passed that way before, and the trails not taken. Yet another piece of wonderful writing, Matthew.


  9. thotpurge August 29, 2016 / 1:25 am

    long view taken from
    The trail we never took… love that.


  10. 1sojournal August 29, 2016 / 11:20 am

    Thought provoking, Matthew. Makes me wonder if we will ever learn to just breathe in the moment and release all those if onlys and what ifs we burden ourselves with to the extent that we too often fail to see the genuine beauty that surrounds us. Thank you much for your visit and comment,



  11. ZQ August 29, 2016 / 3:29 pm

    Whoa! Well done!


  12. Rosemary Nissen-Wade August 31, 2016 / 1:48 am

    Haunting, wistful; makes me nostalgic for places never experienced.


  13. Mary September 2, 2016 / 1:25 pm

    Ah, “the long view taken from the trail we never took” — a bit of a mind bend here in a wistfully contemplative poem!


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