Returning from the island

Returning from the island

We cut this path
Through the woods
with a footpath over the stream.
It winds up the hill through the deep forest,
Around the fenceline,
Past the pond and then
Leaves you facing the ocean.

In this place the silence is a physical thing
The non-stop, busy movement of stream against rock
The crunch of my foot against dirt and leaf
And nothing else

That silence reaches inside
And slows down or halts nearly everything
Even my favourite self-indulgence – thinking I am the King of Self-
Gains no traction here

Here you are compelled to drop things
Allied with the trees and the air and the ocean
Knowing those things dropped now shall return
Even so, that too passes and dissipates.

Later in the world of men,
Where I do not prosper
I choose to believe that at some moment
Not at a time of my choosing, or with any personal intent
The quiet the island left with this mere instrument
Falls, like a coin leaving your pocket
Falling onto fertile ground.

– Baliyan Barrineau.


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