The Shrug

Went for a walk this morning, a little tired,
A little weary, to taste of the autumn air,
And watch the coloured wood against
The sparkling snow mountain caps.
Below the village along the narrow valley,
The path led to clean fields, a clearing;
Two houses stood there, farms with
Cows and hens and cats, a garden there
Deliciously abandoned for winter is coming.
Furtive escapes, lazy grazing, slow wanderings,
Countless hideouts — a children’s paradise.
I saw two young men working,
And I stood there watching;

Then simple men with simple features
Came towards me with wondering eyes;
We exchanged words, they were smiling.
In the silence offered to me then,
I promptly dreamt of living here:
Sitting all morning on those steep slopes,
To think, and keep an eye on the herd,
Twig in my mouth contemplating sceneries,
Strong legs, strong hands, a little nap,
I’d learn simple work for simple ends,
I’d give my heart to this beautiful piece of land 
And those two young men smiling at me.
Addressing them, I said: I like this place.
They shrugged.

So they did it again, my playful thoughts —
To imagine another place, another deed,
To bend the exquisiteness of the now
And squeeze it into a stretch of time, 
Another mirage for my needy self.
The new is good at stirring our imagination
And digging out pleasure that would not last
When coming down day after day with milking cows.
I clung to the marvellous autumn colours for help. 
They told me of all that rests peacefully
Behind the field of thoughts, the claws of time.
They told me that there is a happiness and a beauty 
Always — when you’re resting as rests the land
Or the clear sky, the mountain caps.



Text and photo by Alain Joly



Voices from Silence (other poems from the blog)


2 thoughts on “The Shrug

  1. I enjoyed that Alain. Part way through I sensed with the longing aspect that you would reveal the recognition of the mind wandering to a make believe “better place” Warm wishes Emma


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