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A Quiet Place of Note (A Poem)

By Joyce Jacobo

[Author’s Note: Based on a trip taken several years ago to a small park near a massive mall in Oceanside, Ca. There were patches of woods there with trails that ran around the side of a steep incline. You could see the vast sprawl of the city from the top. It was a place, though, that I suspect most people passed on a regular basis without even knowing it existed, which struck me as a bit sad. It was like nature was hiding secrets right in the heart of the city, shared with those slowed down enough to explore it.]

Among city streets

        where cars zoomed past

                 at high speeds

 from one place      to another

   I noticed a quiet park

       across from

      the busy mall

    right beside a lake

     fringed by reeds

       …so easy to miss
            while in a rush

       …too easy to label
       as just some wooded hills

I crossed to the park

 where a sign stood

  overgrown with vines

    that told

      of Hosp Grove Park

       home to the oldest trails

          in the region

       and overlooked a lagoon–

          once a frequented site

           for community events

I took a stroll along

those narrow   dirt trails

 (maintained by volunteers)

  where eucalyptus trees thrived

    brown butterflies fluttered

      and vegetation

       covered the slopes

         with leaves shaped

           like lilypads

Sunshine cascaded through

   the forest canopy

   …in an old place
       just dense enough
        to forget the city
            for a while

I climbed to a point

  towards the top of the hills

    from which it was possible

      to glimpse

        a broad expanse below

           of city stone


              with intermittent


                 of nature

My wish was to share

 this remarkable place

    with anyone who could

      have missed it

        when caught in the buzz

           of daily life

         (just as I did
            far too long)

    …which is exactly what

         I have done here


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