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Alvin G. Ens

About this Christian Poet:
Born and educated in Saskatchewan, I have taught high school English in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and British Columbia. With my early retirement I now have more time for writing. My poems and a few short stories have been published in a variety of religious publications and anthologies. My book of poetic meditations, Musings on the Sermon, has just recently been short-listed by Word Guild in the category of self-published books.

The Loop

I start The Loop: 3.6 kilometers
trail time one hour
prairie boy used to a distant horizon
stride forth and call it adventure
three turns, one gully and direction lost
where trees, terrain and terror meet
but common sense says
no problem, just stay on the path
an outcrop shows a distant vista
the trail meanders and others join and branch off
then no clear path in the shaded woods
I sing loudly John Henry Newman's
"lead kindly light amid the encircling gloom..."
with no trail markers, no human habitation
find again the path or a path
still singing "I do not ask to see the distant scene;
one step enough for me."
stop at a fork with the realization
that one step could be a misstep
fight the urge to return, to retrace, to abandon
curse John Henry's too-simple faith
choose blindly and venture on
singing again "lead kindly light amid the encircling
amid the encircling, amid the encircling...
and I am far from home."
till vague familiarity haunts
where every tree and turn taunts
that I've been here before
wondering whether a tentative wandering
in a melancholy wilderness
is a minor key with no resolution
always one step away from home
like an unending refrain
checking my watch where 59 minutes
have stretched to 84 years
musing whether a strident march
of "guide me o thou great Jehovah"
would serve better
than Henry John's one step to home
a lost "pilgrim thro' this barren land
I am weak but thou art mighty, guide me..."
while I shout in panic
and sit in silent fear
till others come to lead me

                   Copyright©2002 by Alvin G. Ens