Chris Bradshaw

Forest Paths

I found you on the forest path
Sitting quietly by a stream
And when I asked for wise direction
You spoke words as from a dream:

To the west, you said, in gentle tones
No poet travels far
The roads are full of bandits
And the towns are choked with cars
A greedy mind rejoices
At the sight of such a place
But hear me well and watch your step
In the west is want and waste

Then glancing up to greet the sun
Your face a mask of time
You spoke again of distant lands
Spinning truth inside a rhyme:

The eastward road is winding long
With snares to halt the weak
A thousand tests of virtue
Shall a seeker surely meet
But if by chance you make it through
Your heart will find it's place
I see in you a thirst for peace
A desire best embraced

Your words, I mused, are very strange
But which way shall I take?
I see no clear advantage
The decision's hard to make

The choice, my love, is ready made
Does the wind not whisper it's name?
Listen closely to these ancient trees
Are your spirits not the same?

Submitted: Monday, November 10, 2008

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