Who Trod These Paths and What are Their Tales?

Who Trod These Paths and What are Their Tales?

How many times have you heard the expression: “if only these walls could talk?”  I’ve had that thought about pathways, seaways, rivers and landforms. They hold stories.   Two paths in the images I included here hold stories of their own.  The poem tries to get a feel, however incompletely, for the story under the surface.

 

Who Trod These Paths and What are Their Tales?

Who trod these paths?

What voices do they give?

What are their tales?

How did they live?

img_0129

First Picture: A scene from Pioneer Park Lookout, Griffith NSW, Australia.

(i)

Way back in the Dreamtime,

Shapes formed in the land,

Great marsupials and serpents,

Gathered as a band,

They came,

They ate,

They played,

They strayed,

And so began another day.

People came to tread upon

This earth with shoeless foot,

They hunted with the spear

And the boomerang they tossed.

They walked upon this hillside,

As to other lands

They crossed.

They communicated with message stick,

Traded food and skin,

They came across the white fella,

And now both dwell therein.

Tourists tread along this path,

And youngsters doin’ their thing,

In the grating of the gravel,

And the rustling leaves,

We hear their stories sing.

 

 

img_1609

Second Picture: ancient gateway in the old city of Rhodes (Rodos) in the Greek Island group.

(ii)

Peoples disembarked upon this isle,

Greeks and Turks

If you please.

Add mixes of Italians,

Even the Maltese.

There were Spartans, sparsely clothed,

But tough and fierce and strong,

And Crusading knights

Who came to smite,

And hold their banquets long.

Fisher folk and traders,

The powerful and the slaves,

Those on land and waders,

The mature as well as knaves.

Battles won and lost here,

And even change of names,

From Rhodes to Rodos we hear

Tourists pronounce in ancient lanes.

Some gather for the markets,

Others for historic sights,

In busy tourist seasons,

Cafes and beaches

Are crowded in at nights.

But in the age-old pounding

Of waves from o’er the sea,

The archaic tales are sounding,

Of the indentured and the free,

Inviting into the story,

People

Like you and me.

 

 

Simon C.J. Falk     30 October 2016

 

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