an afternoon walk

 

My Morning Walk by Ernie Kroeger is a quiet gem of a bookwork. The kind that reminds me of how thoughtful a physical act of walking can be and how playful an intellectual act of thinking can be.

 

 

In early February I returned to this bookwork, reread it, then found myself going out for an afternoon walk and coming home to scribble out the beginnings of what would end up being a-kind-of-response-piece or in-conversation-piece with Ernie’s My Morning Walk. I finished working on an afternoon walk on the first day of spring (2017). The bits in quotation marks are actual bits quoted from Ernie’s bookwork.

Thank you Ernie, for the gift of your bookwork and for the always enriching conversations.

 

an afternoon walk

(with Ernie)

 

walking the ephemeral

and building a possibility of being “in two times

at the same place”

here

and here

 

walking

walking

walking

through layers of February slush

that crushes doubting

and takes in a melting sound

(that inward small

sigh) that relies on letting go

 

with the scattered gathered

I return to reading and walk “a distinct line […]

made by the water”

a seam, a crease, a mental fold

that loosely takes hold, as you remind me

that “The first part of the trail is steep”

 

walking behind the past, towards “the red light”

I cut across the foreground

and lift up on my toes, as if this

will help me see unveiling time

 

with each step of my dusty shoes, I remember

how the grass crunched that morning

head down, while another was lowered much further down

into dry earth

 

I wonder now about the distance of ceremonies

which “makes it relatively safe to cross

but even then …”

is here, here?

 

“Pulling myself away from the pictures,

I continue onward” past the rural cemetery

on the west side of a gravel road

there an Imperial moat overlays the Thompson and the Bow

these rivers bend

with curves worn from centuries of leaning

 

You say, “I can hear the presses clanging and scraping

in their familiar rhythm to get the day’s news out.”

I can’t hear the clanging

but I do hear a familiar sound

of scraping

as “… we exchange brief greetings”

 

and someone “asks: How come you’re so late

this morning?”

I reply, simply because

I felt like taking

an afternoon walk

 

 

* * * * * * * *

 

My Morning Walk by Ernie Kroeger was published in 2009 by Small Cities Community-University Research Alliance, Thompson Rivers University & the Kamloops Museum and Archives.