Trails of the Niagara Escarpment

By: Joseph Delaney, hiker and poet in Grimsby, Ontario

Then a whisper from the wind
Dead leaves chattering beneath fallen limbs
In the air
Snow flakes glisten

Then a stirring from the breeze
The birds are chirping at the wind
Dancing with the trees

The growing of a distant cry
Harsh winds stinging my face
chattering teeth clinch down

Look up
crashing branches like waves on a shore
high above
They mimic the current dancing

Swiftly Race by
Dear Wind of the East
Hurry chase your tail
to the other side of the lake
I escape by going down the cliffside

Calmness prevails
Under the waves of the trees
A Protective mother for a child

It’s a different world
In the valley
I Snicker at a
carelessly rummaging
Looking for a misplaced meal

A trickle tickles my ear
Ahead on the path
Follow the blaze
To the stream of life
for most in the wild

Winters sting has affected the bark of the flow
It’s getting quieter
Hibernating under the ice

It’s time to hike up the frosty ridge
My warmth gathered from the climb
I catch my breath
along a plateau

I heard a sound
Look down over the steep cliffs edge
A buck was clinging to a sharp incline
With all his might
He was foraging ahead

He made a brief rest on the path before me
A quick stare, a snort of frosty breath

He leaped up the cliff to finish his quest
To survive
I foraged ahead

Each crispy step echos the cold inside
Time seems longer in the teeth of the season
I wonder how much longer It will be

Blanketing snow exposes
activities in the forest
I wonder how some creatures survive

It’s another winter in Ontario
My thoughts turn to wonderers from past lives

The spirit of the Woodland Indian lives in every tree.
First Nations Tribes lived in Harmony

With a gasping last breath
I reach for the top
My eyes are rewarded with delight

Panoramic view of Lake Ontario
Snow covered hills rolling to the icy shoreline

Feel the crisp breeze cradling the hillside
Rocketing high, swirling
playfully in the air
In the distance blowing snow becomes a blizzard
Then Vanishing, into thin air

the Escarpment of Niagara
Starts a trail from Raymond Lowe’s dream
30 days to walk the path to Tobermory

Thank You Bruce Trail
I said in my mind
Hiking is well worth the time
But now I’m thinking about warming my feet

Man has to protect natural wildlife
It’s our responsibility to carry on for a short time
Pass the torch to the next generation
God willing people keep the light burning inside

Nature depends on it for survival
Are you strong enough to
Answer her cry