Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Musings at the Troll’s Bridge

What will jump at you
from beneath
this troll bridge?

One of your lovely fears,
to take its toll
from your shortening years?

Or is it just a grasshopper, shy,
as confused as you are,
hopping from leaf to leaf,

or a nervous young hare,
who makes your heart jump
and your eyes stare,
then sigh with relief,
then blink with relief.

But what if
it’s death herself
underneath that bridge?
What if?

Do you have
your answers ready?

Tell me, how will you
talk your way out
to the greener shore
paying too high
of a toll?

(And is it really greener?
And do you really have to cross it?)

The wind rustles a sweet song
and you say to yourself,
maybe it’s only a stroll in the park,
yes, that’s what it is,
no toll at all,
only a stroll.


Michelle Johnson said...

and a thought provoking stroll. i really like the questions on death as we all have that greener (or maybe not so greener) side to discover one day. btw, like your picture too. have a great night.

Karen said...

I've been trying to write a poem about death for days now, and here you toss one in my path, interrupting my stroll with just the right words.

Was it as effortless as it appears, or did you struggle to find just the right words, the right images, the right questions?

the walking man said...

I will not start
at whatever jumps
from 'neath bridge.

Makes no sense
to let the toll frighten me
I've seen it before.

I'll not try to talk away from the fare owed neither will I give more than the required toll.

And if I find myself in the presence of death? Oh well there is simply no more of this life left.

Vesper said...

Michelle, thank you! :-) In my thoughts, that greener grass is any desire, chance, decision, trial – including the final one – which we might encounter in our lives… Will we take it and, if yes, what is or is there a price to pay?

Karen, what a compliment! Thank you!
This teeny-tiny bridge is something that we never miss, my daughters and I, when we go to this park. We also love the story of the three billy goats and of their successful crossing of the troll’s bridge.
Yes, it came to me quite effortlessly, in a playful way, but it’s raw and I left it pretty much like that… I’m sure that when you will write your poem, its high quality (as always) will show your longer reflections…

Mark, the sanest philosophy… But how many are capable of it? Thank you for a wise reminder.

Charles Gramlich said...

Last time I went trolling I picked up something nasty!

the walking man said...

Vesper...It is the philosophy of doing something with what I have control over and *shrug* accepting that there are some things that I have no control over and not wasting time on the uncontrollable things.

Aniket said...

I HAVE to know if the grass is greener. I just can't stay Not knowing. Me, i'd rather take my chances and have that stroll.

Sometimes we wait too long for a push or the right time. But what if there isn't one coming along our way?

Must walk ahead. Must...

laughingwolf said...

hey v... i'll take that stroll, and should it be death itself awaiting me, i'll take her in my embrace... but not til my pup is a bit older!

Rick said...

There are no trolls in Detroit, Vesper. What lives under our bridges frightens them away with their scaly tails tucked between their legs.

Your shy grasshopper and lovely fears captured my imagination this morning.

Do you know what I found under the first scary bridge that I investigated? I found slabs of prehistoric rock rippled by waves of an ancient sea. To me, they were like petrified waves. While my friends played baseball, I would sneak away to that bridge rumored to ridden with trolls waiting to eat little children, and I would hunt for fossils and run my fingers over the ridges of a sea bottom turned to stone. I found trilobites and, once, what looked to be the burrowed trail of worm whose wriggles were immortalized in sedimentary rock.

So your poem has reminded me not to be a shy grasshopper, but instead to chase my lovely fears because I never know what mysteries I will uncover that others shy away from.

Thank you for sharing this poem, Vesper.

Geraldine said...

What a wonderful poem. Lighthearted and deep, at the same time. Loved the photo too!

Akasha Savage said...

I really really liked that. Well done. :)

Mariana Soffer said...

Beautiful poem, a smart one. leaves you thinking about life. It also manage to disarm my mental barrier and got trough my emotional part.
I like what you say about the green, it is intersting, full of meaning for me.
Bye bye

Vesper said...

Charles, oops! :-)

That’s it, Mark. I know it. Still, I err, every so often…

Obviously, Aniket. :-) We must go forward.

LW, I know, we all have things to do “first”… :-)

Ah, Rick, the North American Inland Sea… I’m fascinated with it. It’s in one of my stories. Thank you for making me think of it with such poetic descriptions…

Geraldine, thank you! Yes, there are depths behind the lightness… :-)

Thank you so much, Akasha! :-)

Mariana, thank you for your comment. It pleases me enormously that this poem has reached to you in more than one way. Thank you!

joaquin carvel said...

"One of your lovely fears" - we really do kind of groom them, don't we?

i like how we can follow along in this, seeing everything from grasshoppers to death herself - never quite sure if it's intuition or a runaway imagination. what if? - always the best question.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

an exposition on life, to be sure. we never, ever know what is under the bridge. perhaps, if we did - we would never take a chance on crossing it, and that would be a shame. who knows what wonders lie ahead. and if it is death - ?

this poem, aside from being wonderfully philosophical, is beautifully written and formed. love what you have done here, as always.