Forest Walk Poem by Gregory H. Wlodarski

Forest Walk

Rating: 5.0

On a hike in the woods today I found,
A fuzzy cloud gliding along the ground.

This amorphous cloud of blackish tones,
Slid quietly over sticks and over stones.

Its shape was sometimes round and sometimes narrow,
And its size was that of a Mexican sombrero.

Leaning down and close to this cloud of black,
I saw thousands of little ants marching in a pack.

This cloud of ants crawled forward rather methodically,
But on closer observation, the they moved a bit chaotically.

About 4 inches forward each ant moved in this collection,
Then each went half as far in the rearward direction.

After taking their steps the rearward ants turned,
To join their comrads not at all concerned.

Despite this cycle, going rearward then forward again,
This cloud moved smoothly on the forest terrain.

I looked for a leader that could be steering them on,
But the ants looked the same, every Bill, Mary and John.

I couldn't discern who was leading the pack,
They all took turns going forward then back.

Then a question arose, was there a plan or a reason,
For marching so deliberately this very hot season?

To where were they marching, why such a huge number?
Was there a battle to wage and an enemy to outnumber?

I looked at the soil in front for a sign,
But I saw no trail, not even a line.

So ahead of these arthropods, I did make a swipe,
On the ground with my shoe, a clearing or stripe.

I watched with care as this army was nearing,
My six inch wide stripe made into a clearing.

The front row of ants then suddenly stopped knowing,
To the left and right and backward they were now going.

They walked up and down the edge of my clearing,
Looking for the way they all should be steering.

While all the ants looked confused so very.
For me viewing was fun almost quite merry.

The previous cloud so tight and compact,
Became erratic, loose, and very inexact.

Finally a few brave ants the clearing did enter,
They wandered up and down and to the center.

To the other side of my swipe, they crossed,
Marching up and down, completely lost.

At last some scouts what they were searching for, found,
It must have been a scent trail right there on the ground.

These brave scouts their friends, they didn't neglect,
They went back, laying a new scent trail, I suspect.

After reaching their comrades, the army heard their call,
The cloud reassembled and resumed it's purposeful crawl.

I wondered why, without further interfering,
I pondered where, to where are they all steering?

The multitude of footsteps clicked along the ground,
Thousands of such clicks made a imposing sound.

This army of ants then reached their interim goal,
I saw them march into the gound, a dark little hole.

At that entrance the ants were all a jumble,
Some ants stood up and others did tumble.

Was this just a confusion among brothers and sisters,
Or was this a battle, my ants fighting foreign resistors?

While some continued their entry, others were coming out.
The latter in their arms white bundles they did flout.

They carried their parcels across the grounds leafy span,
Complying with their swarm's mysterious master plan.

This marching army of ants now guarding their prize,
I followed them into the forest as would some spies.

I followed them under logs and over spongy moss,
I followed as over much of the forest they did cross.

Then I observed Into a new hole this legion did go,
Into the ground they marched single file, all in a row.

As always at the end of any marching parade,
Are those that are late, perhaps who get strayed.

Eventually the stragglers made it home with their prize,
And I ended my watching and rested my eyes.

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