Par Course

— David Eisbach

One of Campbell’s jewels is the Par Course.
Along the high banks of the Los Gatos Creek
In the midst of trees and brush and is a path,
That performs wondrous things for the soul.

Cotton Wood, Sycamore, Valley Oak and Willow
Line the path and the river’s edge. No clouds,
No breeze just the late morning sun. Spotty shade
From adolescent trees make promises for the future.

The scent of wild dill hangs heavy over uneven
Carpets of forest-green ivy and dry, trampled grass.
Water reeds and cat tails squeeze the slow-moving stream
And when broadened, an occasional basking turtle.

The old bridge was below the spillway’s ridge.
Water flowed in irregular frothy lines like spent
Waves on a beach. The moss coated surface
Of the concrete created a living emerald.

The black berries are ripe. Some go into our mouths
With no thought of dust, bacteria, pesticides or ecoli
My fingers are stained. I don’t mind.
A cat crosses the path and heads down the embankment.

There are pilgrims on the road for myriad reasons.
Young mamas, pushing carriages and sport strollers
Defying the changes after child birth and aging.
Other ladies in form-fitting outfits streak by.

Maurice Chevalier singing “This is All I Ask” comes to mind:
“Beautiful girls, walk a little slower when you pass by me”
An old man listing to one side, looking down, shuffles along
His presence is a statement of hope and defiance

Middle age women in loose-fitting shorts
And wide brimmed hats leave slices of conversation:
“…Why did you run from me? Self preservation, he said,
I had to laugh…”

Two passing sprinters left, “decided to install a camera in the”
“I told him he was completely free to pinch anything he felt he…”
A shirtless, sun-burned man in bulky white shorts,
Jogs ahead of us. He’s heavy set, sun burned and has

A full head of grey hair. He stops at all stations
To do chin-ups, leg lifts, push-ups and squat thrusts.
I tell my wife, “He’s pressing his limits, waging a war against nature.”
She says, “He probably has a young girl friend.”

We passed the one couple slower than we.
We continued hand-in-hand at our pace.

One thought on “Par Course

  1. A wonderful slice-of-life poem! Beneath the images and terrific snippets of human stories that have found their way into your walk along the creek, there is an underlying charmingly good-natured view of the world. When I grow up, I want to be like you, Dave!

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