"Welcome back!" sing the birds above.
Listen! Long lost friend - they send Natureís love.
Mystery lurks around each corner - litter the trail with your cares.
Whatever you expect, itís not there.
Footfalls softly, gently, on a springy, pine needle carpet.
Go neither here nor from where you came,
each moment nevermore, never the same.
The sunís warmth energizes - nudges you forward,
"press on!" says a poof of warm air.
Wafts the pineís fragrance through your hair.
A sober, stoic, gray boulder - bigger than a bus,
stretches for the heavens.
Aglow, a furnace churns far, far away.
Tick-tock raps the conductorís baton, to the trailís sway.
All eyes on center stage,
greet the world anew.
From Whom one answers - the scene is set for you.
Your past, present and future rearranging,
like magic, the show's great! - always changing.
words and image by: Bruce Andrew Peters
Meeting with Mother Nature
Mother Nature, my muse.
She summons: ďTread a trail Ė capture a whole new view!Ē
Golden, warm sunbeams blanket forestís shades of green.
Mountains meander, roller coaster to eternity.
Such a pleasant sight, pray the blind can see, your soul is washed with tranquility.
Stock market crash, low on cash, such a dismal day. Nothing matters amidst her warm embrace, youíve found your way.
Countless views from your pew, none the same. Change the weather, light or people, the sceneís set again.
Her palate paints infinite colors. Draw in as much as you like, her masterpiece canít be priced.
A symphony of boisterous bird song bursts through the trees. Each plays its part perfectly Ė musical masteryís not limited to humanity.
Closer to Heaven
Hike along mountaintops
Dance over fallen logs, across creeks youíll hopscotch
Closer to God, await a heavenly nod.
Release lifeís woes to the Almighty.
Worn out soles becomes cleansed souls, alrighty.
Arm Chair Hiker
Never needed hiking,
my lifeís quiet complete.
No gearing up or down grade,
that ails my aching feet.
Iíll take a snake or bug bite,
as long as our hikeís in a car, I might.
Ticks, fleas, incurable disease.
Not another mile, please!
Only .00167 miles to go, seems like forever, going so slow!
Athleteís foot, bunions and a blister.
Point us home,
or forget you and me,
weíll be history.
Room service, AC, TV,
a nap half past three,Thatís what taking a hike means to me!
My heart sings a happy song,
Like ocean waves, rolling Virginia hills push us along.
Thereís a Howard Johnsonís right on the AT.
The only problemÖ. Itís up in Schenectady.
My Pomeranian sniffs flowers as fragrant as the finest perfume,
our floral path seduces us, like a beautiful woman waiting to bloom.
At home the dog attracts chicks, on the trial he attracts ticks.
A snake savors the warmth of a rock, a smiling sun works around the clock.
Big flies, baby flies.
Big bears, knee highs.
The rail wails, pierces the night sky,
in the valley below.
What sheís seen, nobody knows.Onward we go!
In the Woods
Warm wind caresses trees
Flowers beacon buzzing bees
Butterflies dancing, everlasting
Soft sun summons ďstay awhileĒ
Gurgles a brook, gently over a rock pile
This tired old trail, weary as she be,
at the end of the day, sheíll outlast me.
Change of Seasons
Blood red leafs cry their passing,
brilliance but a flicker, awe-inspiring, we wish it everlasting.
Cold, grey branches deke a breath from the north, shudder a swishing song. Warmth of the sun, birds' singing, a bear's babe born, once forevermore, now hopelessly long-gone.
Gin clear icy air radiate the season's campfires on the late westward sky. Worshipping masses, camera in hand, heavenward we compose, through blaze orange glasses.
All's not lost amidst the brrr of a blanket of cold. Buried in snow and slush and shivers and mummified layers are hearts growing fonder, savoring Spring's warmth and newness even longer.
Summerís sweat boils hotter that Hades.
Fall's crisp climate, like that of a department store environment. Round we go!
Mourn the loss of dear friends:
Spring which brings us birth, upon year's end.
Summer's endless days of infinite dreams.
Fall's a time of reflection: are we within our means? What are our means? Do we know what we mean?
Winter's affirmation of our true being: shedding cabin fever, one step closer to our innermost feeling.
Like a demoralized, downtrodden, broken caged animal who now tastes freedom, his heart sings a hopeful song. Alas! A new beginning!
Bruce Andrrew Peters
Back in the day,
It was "run with the pack,"
no sense to stray nor run away.
But whoíd like:
To be forgotten, just because masterís leaving?
That a newborn child in the family would mean -
weíll stop your breathing?
Or the landlord who says: "No more shelter youíll be receiving!"
Dump four-legged faithful on such a whim,
yet they love us to the very end,
even when the margins are so ever slim.
Speaking at the animal shelter, is Labrador Jim:
"Iím not sure how, but I ended up here.
Thereís sixty thousand like me every day,
Thatís over twenty one million each year.
Itís a reprieve from neglect and yelling and a bruising beating,
or a blood-splattered dog fight - gnashing, tissue-tearing teeth, at a clandestine meeting.
Oh! My heart wails!
Sullen as the stench, choking the air.
The injustice of it all, and nobody cares.
Cold, lifeless steel bars,
somberís the word in this jail.
Yelp for help! Grim Reaperís driving coffin nails.
Saviors rarely post bail.
Against all odds,
hopeís all we have,
at the end of the road.
No tripís worse,
than a final ride
in the back of a hearse."
Amidst soccer practice, evening news and dinner for two:
prayerís answers are found in you.
God and goodness we say on Sunday,
Did we forget our furry friendís fiasco?
Itís 24/7 - thatís every day.
poem and photograph: Bruce Andrew Peters
Riding the Rails
Clickity clack sings the railroad track.
Her pulse brings the country together.
A lone dove escorts us.
She'll fly back,
to await yet another.
Cows surf hills that rise up,
Energetic, electric green,
evergreen mountains pulsate like neon:
"give us a gander!"
We pass old Staunton town,
home of the Statler Brothers and President Wilson,
elected in 1913.
Piercing cottony clouds,
mountains hug us from the rest of the world -
like the Swiss and their Alps -
we're comfortably in between.
Soft pine needles - easy on the eye.
Trees push upward,
blossom like fireworks on the fourth of July.
Visit neatly manicured farms.
An exuberant, young calf - overjoyed with life - runs for fun.
Resigned to duty, her mom fattens up, but shows no alarm.
For the poor and downtrodden, there's a beat up old trailer,
and hope for the future in their vegetable garden.
Our thundering locomotive rocks us down the rails.
To blaring horns, the carpenter man pounds his nails.
Small children in the creek below,
greet us with wild waves, then beaming smiles.
Our future - and all it holds - now theirs for many miles.
They captured a ride along the tracks.
I waved: "Nice to meet you, we'll be back!"
words and photos: Bruce Andrew Peters
Eighteen Wheels Roll
The chariot's teamster has the road by the reins,
or is he reigned in by the road?
Six hundred horses in his hands, bad coffee, rest stop one night stands,
life on the citizen's band.
No telling what's down the road:
a truck stop cutie with a wink to-go,
smoking your clutch, grinding gears,
pullin' a heavy load.
Crawls a carload of kids,
"toot the trumpet" they gesture,
with a pull of a cord.
Roars the turbo, no time to get bored.
Jolts a smile, like the bump in the road.
Beaming faces say you're King,
like the radio's tale of "Convoy," so often told.
Psssh! Hisses hoses,
like a serpent who's breathing in the brakes,
flaring nostrils in their noses.
Freedom of the Open Road,
bright sun warms the cab.
Your only care: how far can I go,
where's good eats,
a cuppa joe?
Hypnotized thirteen hours a day,
space between the ears whiles the miles away.
Bruce Andrew Peters
A Hidden World
Crunch, crunch grinds rock under boot,
afoot we motor.
"Glimpse a secret world!" hawks the parkís promoter.
Rabbits to raccoons, big black bear, buzzards surf the air.
Deer munch green grass to entertain, thatís their care.
Cloaks a dark veil, the trees everywhere.
Dancing bearsí shadows lurk here, then there.
Their world disrupted, we most assuredly know not.
"Au contraire!" cries the cub, hiding treetop.
Freedomís not free, thatís the rub, a bad spot.
Stones and logs neatly manicure the trail,
stray too far - your vision fails.
Stealth, sight and smarts mark the master,
he hears better, moves much faster.
A glimpse you got.
Trek the trail home, the woods not.
Words and image by: Bruce Andrew Peters
Dry frail trees -
baked too long.
Battering big horn ballet their hop, skip and jump.
Big bold boulders beam in the sun.
Howl! Cries the coyoteís lonesome, sad country song.
Crackleís crackle comfort and assure,
youíve a friend in the strangest of places.
Youíre not the only one.
Scorched earth seared, singed by the sun.
Toil, sweat and boil.
Locals hide beneath the soil.
Those in the know awaken to the flicker of midnight oil.
Despite front page features about teeth and venom,
reclusive rattlesnakes rests quietly underground.
Humans are hunters - with teeth and arms and armed to the teeth.
Itís best to lay low when these guys are around.
Rabbits race a hectic rush,
thankfully safe beneath a bush.
After a full day in the sun, youíve hike your hike,
had your fun.
A little wiser, the worldís bigger now,
thereís more than one!
Words from the Woods
Heave heavy, bulky bags by the door.
Back to basics, life's less of a chore.
Good-bye to the boss and business and billions keeping score.
You're Nature's pupil,
just listen, breathe it in, nothing more.
Quiet your opinions
on the world according to me.
Truth's amidst the trees,
more honest than the Almighty TV!
Listen, listen 'til it hurts.
Listen! Now's the time to be alert.
Wind whistles, bowing branches "creak" and "swish."
"Crunch, crackle" leafs, a lone bear to-wit.
Go with the flow; hug him all with all your heart, then some.
He might stay for a bit.
Kind and gentle are the woods,
easy on the ear.
"Babble" gurgles the brook -
"Whoosh!" flushes a pheasant,
from behind a bush.
No salesmanís sleight of hand,
from your purse money took.
Woods' rhythm sets a tone for her students,
so says the Book:
Humility amidst Nature,
a lesson St. Francis spoke.
Nature knows an open heart, compassion, kindness
- can spot it in a thicket.
Embrace Her, love all within it.
Roam the woods like a Roman in Rome.
Like the guest you'd graciously invite,
back to your home.
Lilí Bear Cub
Lilí bear cub,
munches with ease.
Green apples all day,
in the trees.
Oh, we admire,
heís a climber whoíll never tire.
That cute fuzzy boy,
what a joy!
Neither he - nor we - could ever see.
A pack of snarliní dogs -
says the master: "Chase him up the tree!"
Scampers our lilí bear,
so scared he pees.
Not the mean, bad predator
some make Ďem out to be.
Blast! Bellows the gun, a hole torn in his trunk,
our sweet cubís tortured.
If we could think, we woulda thunk:
No more happy days,
munching juicy apples in the sun.
No more grunting, rooting around the evergreen bunting.
No more childrenís cheers, to pet his soft, warm ears.
"I trusted those humans, friendship they were a fronting."
Claws that held like a steel jaw, melt like butter,
Whack! Goes one branch against the back,
An aching, sore, gasping heap,
this isnít a happy ending.
"That guy with the gun, he's a real creep!"
Everybody sees it this way.
Being on the wrong side of a gun,
thatís no way to end the day!
A sniperís sniping,
creates a lot of griping!
Now the sniperís a "sportsman,"
licensed to kill,
just call it "hunting,"
thatíll fit the bill!
I've a computer draggin' round my foot.
Chain gang boss says:
"keeps productivity and profits well-put!"
Got a glare worth a stare,
hypno-crazed, please don't look.
There! Did ya see 'em?
Bunnies bounding, all a-rounding,
bounciní by a babbling brook.
Split the big house, it's not too late,
a route to please a crook!
Ride a sunbeam out the window straight to a blue, blue sky,
the journey Daedalus took.
Trees, their cloaks green, piercing so very high.
Rolling, relaxing pastures - I've been there all along -
my spirit you can't electro-fry.
Clouds of Nature's so soft puffy cotton,
cushion your weary head.
My little dear, the little deer,
ALL Nature knows, the dreary, dreadful dread.
Big gears turn, stamp out a plate, another motorist free.
The Warden says:
"Life of watchin' the monitor will fix ya."
E-mail says "Look at me!"
My furry friends, they sob and cry.
Filing's done, bar's broke, screen's blank.
I'm coming home!
copyright 1973-2010 Bruce Andrew Peters