Thursday, June 28, 2007

Views of Vermont

Vermont is more suited for prose than poetry. Or if a poem, a long narrative. Occasional haiku might do for a traveler surrounded by the Green Mountains.

Along Route 2 passing out of Burlington to Montpelier, East Montpelier, Plainfield: curving slips of asphalt cutting through granite bedrock, walls of granite and slate, vistas of lowland, pine trees standing in the lap of the Green Mountains, the peculiar road signs (Moose Crossing, Bridge Freezes Before Road); steel bridges arched over rock bed streams, tight-fitted plank houses and barns, tin roofs; the surprise of cold water streams frisking over boulders.

Here commercial industry is related to transportation, RV lots, SUV lots, Jeeps; housing, construction, and expansive hardware stores with rows of bright flowers. There are no 7-11s, minit marts, convenience stores, super stores, WalMarts or brand name businesses. Exception: Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts, which have ingratiated themselves into the rough and dusty fabric of the most remote village, trusting the human craving for caffeine.

Granite overhangs along US 89 expose the foundation of this part of earth, which rolls softly, swirling and undulating. In the evening, flocks of fireflies sparkle in a low culvert. Mosquitos and black wasps land on hands and legs. The ulation of a scarlet tanager, drenched in red like a wet painting, composes a moment.

The people here must all be born under the sign of Virgo: earthbound, washed from birth by the fleck of granite, slate their crib, tucked away in the majesty of quiet verdancy. Glitter and glass, gloss, chrome, frills, bright colors disallowed.

These are solid, no nonsense people who work hard with silent obedience to responsibility, who extend their hand and their names to friend and stranger, trusting in goodness, preserving the concept of trust itself.

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