This is for Shopping-Trolley Thomas, Vietnam Veteran and street-wise philosopher.

 

Today I’m not walking

down the road to the town.

Instead I’m climbing up it,

to the distant green hill.

 

I’ll find a broad tributary

of furious, strident steel -

in my way, I’ll cross over

at the sentinel’s order.

 

On the distant bank

I’ll walk past Thomas,

indigent, sound asleep in

a sun-warmed sanctuary

 

A little further on, in

a multi-coloured jumble

of brick and tile bad taste,

is where insomnia rules.

 

The ghost of a Chinese

market gardener follows

his eternal trade there,

all else is sadly visible.

 

Polluted stream and white

painted chapel behind me,

vigilant windows of neat

habitats will watch me pass.

 

Ever upwards, my path,

but I carry no proclamation

of excelsior and I am not

planning to expire walking.

 

The hilltop - at long last,

no Everest, but a triumph,

with its welcome rewards,

a seat to rest and a view.

 

From there I will gaze down

on the distant turbulent town,

and its frantic and impetuous

prisoners – and smile.

 

 

Contemplative walking is good for the soul, wherever one may conceal it. Good for the intellect too, however, on reflection perhaps the soul and the intellect are forever conjoined. 

 

The pleasure given and gained from being a small part of the passing parade is apparent to the walker who meets and greets fellow pedestrians with a smile, enjoys the aroma of fresh cut grass, stops to smell the flowers or just simply rests for a moment on a bus shelter bench after a steep climb. Walking is also good for the systolic and diastolic.

 

 

 

Liverpool NSW © Dermott Ryder 

 

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