The Woodland Way

Barely do her footsteps on this morning make a sound,
As she saunters down the pathway along the well worn ground,
Ambling past the molehills that in the field abound,
To see the soil, smooth and flat, turned to a shallow mound.

Wild flowers grow unhindered close by the forest trees,
While butterflies dance freely around her sunburnt knees,
Fluttering on their random flight paths in the summer breeze,
Laying eggs, as they see fit, on whichever plant they please.

Alder, oak and hazel surrounding sturdy Highland pines,
Once planted by the woodsman in rough diagonal lines,
Begin to spread their branches as each one intertwines,
To yield a copious bounty on which the squirrel dines.

Uprooted trunks, felled by the storms, lay sprawled across the earth,
And make a space for tender seedlings that now assume their berth.
Nourished by the leafy compost to fatten up their girth,
They drink in rainfall, reaching skywards, for all that they are worth.

On a wooden footbridge she stops to view the lake,
And opens up her lunch box some refreshments to partake.
A scrumptious salad sandwich, then yoghurt with a cake;
Learning quickly, paddling shorewards, four ducklings and a drake.

Past the gate, it’s thick with brambles snaking on the track.
Opposite is deep in nettles but there’s no turning back.
Rather with her hiking stick she quickly starts to hack
And slash at prickly, stinging stems – she really has the knack.

This thrashing by the wayside does on this tranquil scene intrude,
And a blackbird, startled in the ferns, stops foraging for its food.
She swiftly flies back to the nest to protect her hungry brood,
Which leaves our rambler somewhat abashed and feeling quite subdued.

Dappled shade adorns the path as she walks beyond the bend,
Where a collared dove rests on the bough, its message here to send.
The sunlight sparkles on the leaves to see her spirits mend.
Now contented, strolling, all at ease, she’s reached her journey’s end.

Roger Lee