My mind tells my body there must be exercise there must be oxygen permeating the source of this request and so there must. The fantastical heat and humidity:

its varnish on all the furnishings of Western New England hills can be no obstacle, so the two of us set out for the nearest euphemism made of a mountain.

We set out, we park in the last sensical idea which is newly paved and precisely lined.

My mind leads my feet up the trail which is the intersection of all things mosquito and insects to be named later.

My mind is an illuminating candle giving off a warm glow while scenting the air with lavender and an aroma to be named later.

The mosquitoes do not speak its language and swarm the innocent and exposed bits of face and other flesh also ignoring the high powered bug spray in which I have bathed.

My cap is a fan waving frantically its feverish goodbyes, leaving my mind exposed to sunlight glinting through the trees.

My mind cracks the whip of self-knowledge forcing one laugh after another through the mosquitoes of fate.
My feet are counterpoints of destiny tromping a well-worn path that turns to leaves and other contortions of debris.

My mind is a laser beam of focus but the ghost white markers on the trees have vanished. Certainty is a full water bottle waiting patiently in the console of the car.

Bushwacking a virgin trail to the summit does not sound uplifting to my mind but the drone of vehicles in the flat distance does. Walk towards them as if they were light, says the mind and the feet of destiny obey.

The earth evens, the mind slows, the sound thickens, the heart steadies, the ground turns leafless and mossy around a new profusion of craggy roots protruding. Then the trees turn brushy, my mind waves my arms through them, confidently parting the leafy red and green sea.

The earth grows grassy, moist, clumpy, increasingly informed by rills then rivulets. I stride then hop from one now small island to the next until the panting mind looks up to see the vast, insurmountable marshland that has always laid ahead. Bad mind.

Very bad mind now an immense high powered flashlight 18 leds and one massive rechargeable battery. My cell phone will not dial 911, 1-800-hello-copter or anything else, having no signal before dying off completely, soaked as it is in a plague of sweat.

My mind is a vagabond basket carrying recently cut flowers to a shore line near east of Marsaille that somehow also remembers the chestnut horses I passed grazing away in a small meadow as if they had nothing better to do. The horses do not live in the meadow

or even these demented woods at large–– after all, who would milk them? There must be humans. Humans who have led them there for a pleasant afternoon outing, though they seem to have forgotten their sun caps. No matter, caps or not, there be a way in and what goes in goes out.

My mind is a reservoir full of sunlit rivulets as my body belches more sweat and my stomach groans. My mind the reservoir forgets to contemplate the consequences of possible sunstroke and dehydration while standing in a grass infused swamp midday in early August. Death is giving serious thought to having a good laugh out loud.

My mind is a sack of potatoes but I have not a peeler nor hands to help staunch this wound of hunger. My feet and knees band major march us forth from the swamp towards the horses’ green pastures, steppin’ high and dry, stompin’ wet and low. My mind is a crate of perambulating ice cream, pistachio or mint chocolate chip, it’s hard to say which. My feet are drenched in muck.

At least one horse blows his pipes beneath his festive, green fedora. The knees and feet bend and hear, bend and hear and here are the horses, blessed horses and the road they take out I take out and there are children, brother and sister unrecognized by the mind with faucets and glasses and water and water. They try not to stare. My mind is an e-greeting card that forgot to hit send.

Across the road it’s quittin’ time at the don’t want no trouble, just take it away public works depot and out spills a slouch faced gent in a green pickup truck. I am smiling and waving and he stops, hears my tale and says hop in he’s driving right past my long lost car on the way home. He shifts the four on the floor with a stump of a wrist that looks like Da Nang all over again. We pass a bottle of small talk back and forth avoiding as many topics as possible.

My mind wants to be a hand. You know, to help out. But it is not. Useless mind. It begins to contemplate the thousand swift flowing streams of the life reviving shower back at the place, unaware of the gestating seas of poison sumac welts soon to inundate every inch of skin with the sole exception of the genitalia. God bless the genitalia, standing faithful and loyal watch in the days to come over the rest of the itch riddled, useless body not to mention mind as it readies itself for a mapping consultation to plot out another day’s great adventure.


DON POMERANTZ lives in New York City where he is a retired educator. His poems have appeared in Washington Square, Failbetter, Potomac Review, Eclectica, Conium Review, Kestrel, SAND and elsewhere.