Names in the Land

Ryan Hill is what old-timers called a rise in the woods on my great great grandfather Patrick Murphy’s farm in Monroe County, IL.  I have not been to this particular site in some time and am not sure whether the irises remain or not.

Ryan Hill

Darkness.  Forest canopy
pushes away the sunlight
from Ryan Hill.

An old stone bridge
over a small stream
lies covered in asphalt, unseen
until you walk down from the road grade
and are gathered into the trees,
then look back
away from Ryan Hill.

Iris spread unblooming
year on year
across the wooded hillside.
They dream their purple blossoms
beneath an absent cabin,
royal wisp on either side
of overgrown footpath,
up to a doorway long departed
from Ryan Hill.

Age’s ghosting presence
rests light as angel wings
slowly rising
from Ryan Hill.

Ryan Hill

Darkness.  Forest canopy

pushes away the sunlight

from Ryan Hill.

An old stone bridge

over a small stream

lies covered in asphalt, unseen

until you walk down from the road grade

and are gathered into the trees,

then look back

away from Ryan Hill.

Iris spread unblooming

year on year

across the wooded hillside.

They dream their purple blossoms

beneath an absent cabin,

royal wisp on either side

of overgrown footpath,

up to a doorway long departed

from Ryan Hill.

Age’s ghosting presence

rests light as angel wings

slowly rising

from Ryan Hill.

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