Hiking in Heaven, a poem
You puff up the trail that winds west of the cliff, a pack of worries
heavy on your back, You step up and up on rocks sharp or flat.
This is the steep part. At Judges Cave, high on West Rock Ridge,
you breathe the view, grateful for a stop, but you keep it short.
Green blazes mark the trail north. You hike along,
the path now loam, now leaves now ledge.
Step by steady step, you replace worry with trail and tree and sky.
You’d have been okay, improved, let’s say, without the rock folks.
Then you come to (ah!) heaven’s gate, an arch of saplings
grapevine bound. Bemused, you enter. And there a flock of stone folks
stands beside the trail. Some impish hikers have created a fairy land
of cairns high on West Rock Ridge—basalt balanced on granite
on basalt at crazy angles. Stone lovers kiss and kiss
and do not stop. A rusty saw spans two towers. On the saw
sit two puckish fellows, planning mischief. Their life little longer than bubbles,
they are in a mood to ambush your problems and toss them off
West Rock Ridge. Stone giggles (you swear it), and beckons you over to share
a whisper of unlikely tales. Who are the playful artists? For this is a world created
and you walk among its creatures. No, more, you are counted upon
to stumble into this elfish place, to witness the guy with the raised rock shoulder,
the one with the beak-sharp nose, and those twelve gnomish folks alert
at the path’s edge. You get higher than you’ve ever been, high
on West Rock Ridge. You were meant to notice, to laugh, and to know
that heaven is made by rascals.