Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PINE CAMP, by GORDON BAINE CLARK

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PINE CAMP, by            
First Line: There were the three of us and we were young
Last Line: We hear winds in whisper with far-distant pines.
Subject(s): Autumn; Camping; Seasons; Wind; Fall; Camps; Summer Camps

There were the three of us and we were young,
Young in years, in mind, in dreams. The wind sung
And we heard it, felt an answering thrill
Run over us. Our feet raced to "the hill" . . .
That's what we called it. A place where boulders,
Lichen-traced and soft with moss where shoulders
Pressed against its base, raised their crown of pine
Into a sky whose breath, like some old wine,
Ever sent our blood racing . . .
. . . "Let's build a camp."
Who has forgotten those words? Or the tramp
And press through juniper? The scent of pitch
Holding one's fingers in stiff embrace? Which
Way should the branches hang? And where the door?
Pine boughs, moss, or meadow grass for the floor?
So there grew at the foot of "the hill"
Our pine camp. Done, we swore a pledge: Until
We lay in dust no one should know this secret
Place . . . Through the star-lit summer nights, swept
By the west winds, filled with ghostly moons, sweet
With the fragrant breath that meadow brings
To night-league with the pines, we dreamed those things
Existent only in the phantasies
Of youth . . .
. . . Then came sweeping the chill wind-seas
Of fall. Amid the gold, red, and yellow
Tides our pine camp withered brown. Fell low
In forgotten loneliness . . .
. . . Once we three
Were Jim, and Don, and Tom. Now, mature, we
Believe we're, well, men . . . Yet sometimes,
Restless as some midnight somewhere slowly chimes,
We hear winds in whisper with far-distant pines.

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