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Poetry: The Trail

About the poem
For many years I lived along the St. Croix River in The Great Northwoods of Wisconsin, where
bears, wolves and cougars shared the forest with me.

This was a time of isolation.

The solitude exposed the rawness and fragility of life to me, and how you had to use your senses to survive.

About the poet
Dg Clearing grew up in Seymour and now lives in Menasha.

His poems are both personal and tell a social history of our times.

In 2020, The Council for Wisconsin Writers chose him as one of the poets to represent Wisconsin for “National Poetry Month” in their documentary film series.

His work has appeared in USA Today Gannett’s: The Milwaukee Journal, Green Bay Press-Gazette, The Appleton Post-Crescent, Letters to Gaia, Out Loud, and others.

He made his New York poetry debut recently, reading at the Nuyroicn Poets Cafe.

He is also a visual artist, and his art has been exhibited alongside works by Andy Warhol, George Morrison, Peter Dean, Christo and others.

The Trail
I walked the trail many times.
Each season filled with memories
wildflowers, from April’s rains
fern groves, in July’s humidity
leaf colors, as October passes
white and silent, January’s crust.
Change is subtle, along the path
a sapling
new moss, on a rock
morels, after the morning dew
a fallen branch.
Take notice of change.
Beaten, with footprints, the route is used by others. After a rain or snow, fresh tracks can be seen. Deer, mink, squirrels, turkeys, all share the lane. Bear and cougar, have crossed my path. Wolves and coyotes have been seen.
Being wise, walk familiar, with caution and respect.
Smells and sounds, guide every season peepers choir, in the swamp
giant pines, with the scent of their fresh running sap breezes whistle, along the cliff’s edge
crows caw, as you pass.
Senses tell, the right and wrong direction.
The beginning and end, start the trail.
Subtle changes, give guidance.
Respect and be wise, your path is shared. Listen to your senses, for direction.

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