Following an old hill track within dry
grasses and trees, dust worn thin,
soft and deep by pad and hoof,
dark shadows reach for shades of brown.
Once blond heads of wild oats bent
by breezes, now bleached by the sun,
hang empty and delicate on hollow stems
awaiting grazing or a rain to lay them down
atop the rosy clutch of fillaree
claiming ground in brittle curls beneath.
Blue Oaks gray with turquoise leaves,
leather-like among the naked skeletons
of grandfathers shedding limbs, lesions
of good hardwood, too heavy to support
without water on these battlefields,
the wounded and dead-standing, but
decomposing monuments to better centuries—
a range of color spreading into dying light.
Like so much we see it will take a winter to process it all . . .
..or perhaps longer. Some of these oaks have been dead two years already, but beautiful nonetheless as the sun slips south.
Be careful around those dead ones. There has been quite a few fall over down south here. A few people hurt. Two kids hurt bad yesterday along with 8 others with minor injuries. One killed a while back. There ground isn’t holding them as dry as it is.