Moon Thru Branches 2
Photo by Gamaliel Masters

Glades Riding

I rode the wind last night
in supple ancient leathers
cracked along crease lines
like tracings in lizards' hides,
rode out along Alligator Alley
through the Glades alive with
night things, thick with sounds,
bull gators the base note,
their roars and twirling bodies
seeding explosions in marsh water,
the skeeters high pitched whines
just memories as I slammed past
too fast for them to bite.

I floored the Harley and
raced the moon across the sky,
rode right down the yellow line,
watched shimmering moonlight
silver the swamp grass and
stream past me at warp speed.
I rode till first light
tethered the moon out of sight,
and day notes infiltrated
the soundscape barely able to
be heard above the engine roar.

I stopped by the side of the road,
became drunk with the scents of
wet grasses and the musk of otters,
drunk again with the music of
wrens and the croaks of herons,
still more with the feel of damp
warmth rising like fog from the
marsh edges heavy with night dew.

I see ahead the roofs of new houses
edging into the Glades like toxic
aliens welded to reclaimed land until
the next big blow comes surging in.
I've roared, marched, written letters as
we turn the land into leaching fields,
drain the sacred wildness from ourselves,
drain the sacred wildness from the land,
and treat it like no account sludge to be
buried out of sight and forgotten, and
I fear that when it is all paved over and our
wildness is a footnote factoid from the past,
that we'll all go mad with soul memories
that surf our night dreams and make us lust
for midnight rides on a Harley racing the moon
down yellow lines on roads thick with sounds
and musky smells and explosions in marsh water.

 Zen Oleary
March 13, 2003

Many more of Zen Oleary's poems (& those by
several other excellent poets) can be accessed at:
True Vision

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Artistic Modification by Norman E. Masters