Walking Buck Creek Trail

There was no plan before we left.

We just took off together—as if lured by sirens singing.

Beneath the stars, you steered me to the places that you love,

made mysterious by the flare of rockets red glaring.

Through the cemetery and down the hill

To where the waters waited,

And the path was still and free of people.

We walked along Buck Creek Trail that Fourth of July.

Chasing fireworks just out of reach.

The flash bang of concussions meeting us in the dark.

As slick, silent waters slid past a fallen tree.

Fireflies flickered, semaphore signals, beneath a gibbous moon.

When I was younger, I thought it was called a ‘Gibbon’ moon.

I couldn’t help but wonder…

Do monkeys dance bathed by lunar luminescence thinking it is day?

Or does the Man in the Moon wear a simian grin?

My, how that mischievous moon loomed large.

A low-hanging pendulum ticking in the tree tops.

Playing peek-a-boo behind Earth’s shadow

While the jealous sun searched for its hidden lover.

And as we walked through the humid musk

Of night smells and sulfur from plentiful explosions.

Every inhalation left an acrid taste upon the tongue.

Around each curve we anticipated the next cascade to come.

But we never quite caught the pattern of their detonation.

Overhead, we spied

…A glimpse.

…A spark.

A flickering emanation—a sky lantern floating.

The softness of a scene unmarred until…


Followed by an emptiness–ears still ringing.

Eyes straining for a light in the dark.

Then the skies rained down with jeweled profusions.

The distant constellations twinkling in the smokey aftermath.

When the pyrotechnics paused

We waited…wondering…

“Was that it? The last one?”

But no.

A serpentine hiss trailed an invisible propulsion

Launching upward, arcing toward the vault of heaven.

Earthbound, we held our breath in anticipation…

Will it wax with radiance, or fizzle, wither, and die?

Or will it flower, hanging time itself upon a belt of sky?

Silver sparks streak, descend.

Causing seizures of joy in small children.

Cascades of tinsel dripped down from a dark blue heaven.

You laughed and pulled me forward through the night

Following an ever-moving horizon.

You never caught them—the manmade stars you chased.

But then, that was never your goal.

You wandered the night in search of adventure.

Lured by a golden monkey moon winking down at us,

As if imparting a cosmic joke before we departed.

Back through the cemetery we went

Where the little chapel hides in hedgerows

Sparklers briefly crowning the trees in red, white, and blue tiaras.

And there was no tomorrow yet to fear.

There was only the night and the steps we took beneath a silvery moon.

While the fire flies danced to a tune only they could hear…

…in the dark

…on the path

…along Buck Creek Trail.

15 thoughts on “Walking Buck Creek Trail

  1. This is an absolutely wonderful poem. I love
    “A serpentine hiss trailed an invisible propulsion
    Launching upward, arcing toward the vault of heaven.”
    Your words made the scene so vivid, like I was there. Just beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m very glad you liked it. It was one of the lines I struggled with. (I struggled with everything, but this one was much longer before I took a hatchet to it to make it readable!)

      Thank you.


    1. I am so glad I didn’t omit it then! I was tempted to cut it out, it was so hard to construct a sentence to capture what I was thinking. I didn’t, in the end, achieve what I had hoped. But, at least, it wasn’t nearly as clunky as the previous iterations.

      Do all writers dismiss and discount their craft as pathetic attempts to mirror what the mind’s eye imagines?


    1. And I feared no one would like my monkey moon! Thank you for letting me know. (Writers always fear sending their precious creations out into the world. Afraid no one will love them the way we do!)
      Do you perhaps write poetry yourself? I’ll check out your post to see!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. As smoke goes, I imagine it’s nowhere near as bad as industrial pollution or the contributions to green house gasses produced by belching cows. There are worse indulgences than fireworks. Though, I do agree, everything in moderation would likely improve the planet’s long term forecast. I’m glad you stopped by.


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