Finding soil deep in secret crevices among broken chunks of basalt, clusters of columbine trumpet spring. Seemingly growing from rocks, long slender stems dangle like pendant horns, five curling spurs arcing from the top. Brilliant red and yellow beneath scraggy trees, they’re lit like elfin lanterns in late afternoon sunlight.
Delicate, but tenacious, they cling to life on the droughty, gust-charged heights, their curved spur tips shaped like the talons of raptors kettling above on the cliff caused thermals. These rock bells ring with the wind’s voice.
blooming among rocks
delicate brink survivor
nectar for the eye
(Haibun is a marriage of prose and haiku. It was first practiced by seventeenth-century Japanese poet Matsuo Basho who perfected the form in a journal he kept on a trip to the remote regions of northern Japan. Gary Snyder, James Merrill, and Jack Kerouac are among American interpreters of the genre. Haibun best expresses the spirit of the New England Trail because it combines clear-eyed prose descriptions of people, objects and places along with poetry that awakens the imagination.)
The New England National Scenic Trail, a unit of the National Park Service, runs 215 miles from Guilford, Connecticut to the Massachusetts/ New Hampshire border. The trail is maintained by volunteers of the Connecticut Forest & Park Association in Connecticut and the Appalachian Mountain Club in Massachusetts. For more go to https://newenglandtrail.org/