Posted by: Ron DuBour | May 11, 2018

Chasing History~by Paul Lenzi



Chasing History


“Playing Cards in Fryeburg Maine” by Eastman Johnson

Sensing mild adventure
My spring forest beckons
Boughs like green-handed arms
Overhead sweep me in
Crackling twigs underfoot
Start critters to scurrying
Darting through shimmering
Figments of latticework
Sun-woven shadows
Cast down upon air fairly
Pungent with pine-scent
And redolent bark

All the while looking
For traces of passage
Among mossy trunks
Around angular boulders
Half or more never seen
Dry icebergs that jut up
From brown-needled beds
Sprouting tussocks of turf
Alert for the odd bit
With color or form
Suggestive of artifact
Waylaid by history

Bull moose and whitetail
Track snowmelt-charged streams
Coursing rocky treed foothills
Where smugglers annulled
Prohibition by hauling
With oxen-drawn sledge
Furtive freightloads of spirits
Canadian contraband
Routes marked by ruins
Crude stopover shacks
Rotten planks overgrown
With woodland encroachment

Local lore hints one such
Way-station stood up
Right here on my land
Though no one knows where
My crown-antler Bowie
Hacks passable trails
Through vines thick as thumbs
Sturdy saplings like pickets
Slow progress until one good
Yank frees a fanned clump of
Maidenhair ferns whose roots
Tangle with rust-crusted chain

My ironwood staff
Pokes and prods fertile earth
Tracing widening arcs
That stop at a massive
Rock shelf cantilevered
Across the slope face
Sharply steepened above
A good twenty feet long
The ledge caps a space
Dense with thickets of
Buckthorn and bittersweet
Grappling to fill every inch

I poke horizontally
Jabbing lush verdure
And jump from a thrill
When I hear report back
Telltale thumps of some
Hollow-backed wood
Well concealed from the eye
Tamping down my excitement
I vow to return armed with
Counterblade loppers and
One-eighty lanterns
Once autumn drops leaves

In hobbling back down
All my pain burns more viciously
Scorching what courage
I might draw from rousing
Inspiriting echoes
An eager mind sounds
But these thought-killing fires
Make me frequently lay-by
Without peace to wonder
How many more seasons
Will give me adventure
And finish my history



A fictional reverie from my books Range of MotionMusic of Scars and Legacies (vol. 1)


  1. thank you for sharing my poem with your readers

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