Striding Through the Woods…What’s Ahead?

A solitary late evening stroll through quiet woods reveals
the things you don’t get to think about that much.
In the quiet moments, the sights, sounds and smells–so real;
not so spoiled by the greedy careless touch.


So many years ago, recalling through memory’s foggy haze,
we were taught that forests, not fishing, was what counted most.
The fishers were poor but the woods workers enjoyed better days.
Three paper mills bore prospects of a life of which they’d boast


For generations the forests brought life, riches and culture; no ills.
Great stands of black spruce grew and fell to men who loved working so close to the land,
while back at home sons and daughters studied and learned to work at the great mills.
A way of life grew and so many thought it would be able to withstand.


The digital world’s need for newsprint is less and less in the long haul
and there’s only so much arse wipe that we now need.
One by one trees used to fall
until hardly any were left at all,
but now we aren’t cutting trees
just plants and jobs nobody needs.
Where once there were three now we barely still have one…but maybe not for long.


And, yes, there are surely those we can see what’s been taken away;
who think about industries–newspapers mostly–who still struggle on.
They suggest, ย “But without those papers the truth will now fall prey
and all we’ll have is lolcats, clickbait and scams until all good sense is gone.


But then again change doesn’t have to mean loss, maybe just replacement.
That so-called golden age gave little thought to equality safety or good health.
The certainty in that time was often just debasement–
those fabled papers ย mostly conduits for the ideas of those of wealth.


And so, a quiet walk, alone, among the fragrant trees
reminds you that while some is lost much still remains.
Perhaps if we stop always looking for things to sell to meet our needs
a more harmonious coexistence can be attained.


But none of that matters asย a trail just stretches on–
bite of winter wind, crunch of snow with each new onward stride.
The dimming light of setting sun reminds one of times now gone
but spring is just ahead; for now I’ll enjoy what the forest always will provide.


About Maurice A. Barry

Coordinator: Teaching and Learning Commons, Faculty of Education, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Parent & Husband. eLearning consultant/coordinator. Program Development Specialist - eLearning (Department of Education; Retired). Writer: over 40 Math/Physics texts/webs. Developer & Manager of web content. Geek. Not into awards but loves comments.
This entry was posted in Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador, poetry/songs, Society and Culture and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Striding Through the Woods…What’s Ahead?

  1. BoxingSeed says:

    Read it. Enjoyed it.

  2. tw says:

    “Perhaps if we stop always looking for things to sell to meet our needs
    a more harmonious coexistence can be attained.” I think this is true, materialism has only ever served to pillage the Earth’s resources and we realise too late the damage it has done and ultimately that some of this is irreversible. Technology is changing how we work and that also seems to be a one way journey, something we have pushed so far that it’s momentum is carrying it forward.

    • Sadly, despite the efforts of many we are not likely to pull back an change our ways until we have no other choice. In many cases this has not been a problem–quite often what we switched to was an improvement. This time around it’s different as there is the very real possibility that we are setting in place a runaway chain reaction. It’s hard to argue with the science behind global warming and all signs point to a move toward an upward spike in the greenhouse effect in the short term, This is something we are unlikely to be able to reverse.

  3. When I was a child, I ran across a spoof poem in MAD magazine and never forgot it. (Oh, to have retained that nearly-photographic memory of childhood. It, alas, is also receding,…)

    I think that I shall never see
    a poem as lovely as a tree.
    Of course I’d hoped that there would be
    a tree around for me to see.
    Some lumber firm from out of town
    has chopped the whole d#$% forest down.
    But I’ll show up those dirty chumps.
    I’ll go and write a poem called Stumps!

    Nature still does comfort me, even when I’m grieving what’s being lost.

    • Ha ha! Love it. It is truly amazing how well we can recall the things we have chosen to learn well. I can’t seem to find the studies but I recently came across two:
      1–one out of Japan that measured physical traits as walkers completed equal-length hiles, one through the forest and one around a track. The times were considerably faster through the forest.
      2–studies done of the health benefits fo some naturally occurring aromatics produced by evergreens. These boost the immune system and naturally occur in evergreen forests.
      And besides–a walk in the woods ins just plain good for the mental well being ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Mary says:

    Beautiful photos and lighting / thoughts and words
    Enjoyed following this walk in the woods

    • Thanks! Weather has not been great around here lately, so I have only been getting out around half as often as normal. Since I posted this we have had THREE snowstorms. Between today (Mar 30) and Wednesday we are expecting an additional 30 to 60 cm of snow on top of the 380 cm we already have ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Tiny says:

    Thank you for the beautiful walk in the snowy woods! I think change might be good…even if newspapers might disappear and bills become all electronic, books will remain (I’m sure, because many people want to touch a book, not just see the text) and we’ll always need paper in the house as not all things that can be done virtually ๐Ÿ™‚ There might just be a chance for a good balance, more trees to admire and help us survive.

    • I wish there was a way that I could get both versions (paper and ebook) for only a small extra premium. Over the past few years I have learned to really love ebooks for several reasons: 1–less clutter around my far-too-small house 2–portability 3–I love to read in bed and the tablet has its own light and 4–I am easily distracted and so, books often send me off on tangents. If I read on the tablet I can follow those tangents efficiently. That said there are many many times when a book can’t be beat! Outdoors, fro example–ebooks are not great outdoors. Complex layouts such as are found in non-fiction do not lend themselves well to tablets and ereaders. You cant loan them either–and I know the publishers LOVE that ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

      • Tiny says:

        I love e-books for exactly the same reasons! The e-book world is evolving quite fast now, you can actually now lend a kindle e-book you own to another person for 14 days to read on kindle or a free kindle app. And Amazon Prime members can use the Kindle lending library for free once a month. Design-wise there is still a lot to desire…I just formatted Bumble’s book for Nook today and had to resize the illustrations and reformat the whole book…all the e-readers are different ๐Ÿ˜ฆ A non-fiction e-book with figures, equations and charts would be close to impossible to present nicely due to all the “moving parts” and liberties the reader has re. how s/he wants to see the book.

  6. Marie says:

    There is a trace of a romantic sentiment in these snowy footprints. Lovely!

  7. elkement says:

    And I am again impressed by that snow!!

  8. Mjollnir says:

    Lovely post Maurice and all that snow shows us what we missed this last winter!

  9. TamrahJo says:

    Looks like an awesome place for a nature sanctuary, surrounded by old plants converted to community bed-n-breakfasts complete with pamphlets advertising all the local guides who can share the beauty of your land with visiting guests…..who, if they win the raffle, will win one of 5 very special christmas trees carefully harvested each year…..

    Don’t mind me – just dreaming – – – ๐Ÿ™‚

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