These hills are older than you and I.
They're older than our fathers and mothers
and their fathers and mothers and the tribes
that left their broken pots and arrowheads
in the caves and in the fields.
I've found them there in new-plowed soil
by the creek, like the grains of corn
left from long-ago failed harvests.
These hills were young when the world was young.
Their sandstone skeleton hardened an aeon
before the dinosaurs crossed over them.
They were mountains, then, sky-touched
heights, sheer cliffs of golden sunlight.
That sun's vigor we'll not know again.
These hills are old now, soft rounded remnants
crumbling into gentle oblivion.
These forest-covered hills of home,
these hills of abandoned orchard and field,
of secluded hollow and cave,
dream the dreams of ages past
and you and I and our sons and daughters
will be as the arrowheads in the field.
Stephen Brooke ©2011
This piece is not 'about' the Hocking Hills of southern Ohio but was inspired by them. As with many of my poems, it is roughly accentual -- not free verse.
Once again spellcheck does not like one of my (legitimate) words -- aeon, in this case, cyphers, a couple posts ago. Ha, it doesn't like spellcheck either, even though it spells it that way at the top of the page!