I thought I knew where to go when I started out -the road lay straight, but there was spilled mud on it
in strange smiles, and grasses shook their beards in laughing doubt,
a flock of birds shrilled a tune and wheeled about
overhead, and underfoot a track slid off from the main
and vanished in the woods in a longer circuit
unknown and inviting in the frail mists of rain;
so I stepped off-road beyond the hard, painted limits
into the whispers of light and shade, into silk-soft soil,
its red mouth against my skin. Into a wholly different transit.
The narrow, dimly-lit mud track cracked and split,
doubled up on itself, wound back and forth through the terrain
climbed into different levels of peace and turmoil
and then returned me to the same wide road again.