|Claude Monet, Autumn Effect at Argenteuil, oil on canvas, 1873, The Courtauld Gallery, London, UK|
Amongst All Things I Cherish You Most
Amongst all things I cherish you most:
silent, deserted tracks,
paths winding steeply up
to the hazy tops, murmurs of footsteps
muffled by silent slopes,
ascensions to sylvan hermitages.
When the first snow
shuts all man within their weary
dwellings, then even the timid fox
sticks its head out of the woods,
sniffing with its pointed nose the air
in the scant November dusk.
Similarly a vagrant finds some peace
and no longer despairs in his wandering,
when the blackening earth closes the corolla
of the horizon, and like ancient weeping,
the oblivious, sooty sky
is a mute blanket, unutterable.
(The Appalachians, November 2013)