Val enjoys writing prose in rhymes by always leaving a message of a life truism in each piece.
James Gardens is a park-forest, an ex-estate donated to the city, where I am frequenting either with my wife or alone. With a river, usual park facilities, like a picnicking area, benches, public washroom, many large flowerbeds, a cascading Japanese garden, and couple of miles long trail through the forest.
Other than people coming there for recreation, there is a whole bunch of Canada gees, ducks, squirrels, chipmunks, and now and then I could see a shy, fast disappearing coyote, a fox, even a deer.
I get there in less than fifteen minutes drive from my home, and parking is rarely so crowded that I would have to make circles waiting for someone to leave.
Sometimes I may go there during winter months, with everything being frozen, the river, trees, and huge patches of the slightly elevated trail going through the forest, so it's a sort of a challenge to take a walk there. Needless to say, that's that very part of winter walk there that I like.
I always fill my pockets with peanuts, because every living thing there eats them. Especially squirrels are so many and I don't even know what food they can find with everything being covered with snow and ice. At times I see one that's crawling around, all exhausted of hunger. All their usual nervousness disappears as I am approaching them with peanuts in my hand.
Oftentimes I feed chickadees, those brave little birds that will land on my extended palm to eat sunflowers. They are always in groups, maybe families, I don't know, because there they go taking turns, sometimes even two at a time tickling my palm with their tiny feet.
And then, of course, there are people walking alone, or as family, with or without a happy dog, and they are my special treat during those walks. Many of us already know each other by name, so we stop to do some friendly chatting.
At other times I may go for my "walking meditation", so I may take a secluded path for a walk, and then sit by myself on one of almost hidden benches by the river. Or I spend quite some minutes enchanting myself with exotic flowers.
Well, it's always a special experience for me, and the next three pieces of rhymed prose will put it all into a form of poems, with my usual fun of forming a slant right margin of each stance.
My Temporary Friend Chipmunk
Something in this rhyme will catch your eye
as here is something that I just had to try
playing grammatically adventurous guy
talking about myself with a "silent I".
With peanuts in pocket went to my favorite park
on a day so bright that my soul was in a trance
whistling a 50's tune just as happy as a lark
glancing passing chick, pace like in dance.
On bench facing river, purling sound like mantra meditation
my nostrils filled with opiate coming from pines all around
downstream a bunch of ducks in their yapping elation
now leaned back with eyes resting on blue of sky.
A little new sound came from the near of my right
brave tiny chipmunk filled the corner of my eye
sniffing as if having a good meal in his sight
of course, peanuts attracted the little guy.
He didn't barge at all as my hand reached for some
let me pat him as he placed two inside each cheek
then ran away to hide them, but for more he'd come
greedy little bastard hoping for a stash, so to speak.
He let me pat him more, like knowing that was the price
so our little interaction was proceeding extremely well
those peanuts made our friendship unfold quite nice
till nothing was left in my pocket but a peanut smell.
With a freakish look of anger and blame
he sniffed some more and ran abruptly away
leaving just impression of rodent brave and tame
with all other treasures of nature he did make my day.
Those Enchanting Flowerbeds
There are few things that put goosbumps on my skin
like Chopin's nocturnes and many an ancient remain
while those exotic flowerbeds bring my head to a spin
with shapes and color combinations blasting my brain.
In front of them I stand like in a trance
feeding my soul with every petal and leaf
while the gentle breeze makes them dance
in a hypnotic spectacle that's beyond my belief.
It's like heavens are teasing my ever curious mind
with colorful birds, fishes, and above all, flowers
making me wonder about creative force behind
possessing such incredible artistic powers.
What is it that knew how to pamper our heart
how to stimulate in our nature that very best
and how to inspire us to create our own art
putting love and appreciation in our chest.
So that walk in my park is like my walking meditation
leaving in me a sense of wonder in my whole being
making me ponder about nature's artistic creation
along with deep feeling so enriching and freeing.
People I Meet on the Trail
Not overly charismatic or a self-pushing freak
I make instant friends wherever I may go
it just happens naturally, so to speak
unfolding faster than I may know.
Of course, those are not some home visiting friends
just ordinary, friendly people that I'm fond to meet
it's kind of frequent serendipity that never ends
whether in elevator, at stores, or in the street.
And so it is with those friendships in the park
maybe started with a comment about their dog
approaching me with tail wagging or friendly bark
or it was someone stopping by may bench after jog.
And then there are those harder to explain
when we both spontaneously stop for a chat
maybe starting with no more than expected rain
to end up with something so much deeper than that.
Like, benefits of energy coming from all those trees
or how those walks are a good escape from pollution
maybe about their promoting our relaxation and ease
now and then even with suggestion for health solution.
Sometimes whole group would suddenly gather
with so much to tell -- even about private stuff
I just love those spontaneous getting together
something of which I will never have enough.
© 2021 Val Karas
John Hansen from Queensland Australia on March 10, 2021:
This was a nice read Val. James Gardens sounds beautiful, a lot like Kershaw Gardens near where I once lived. Loved reading your encounters with the chipmunk and people in your poems too.