The Franklin Cliffs

Blue Ridge MountainsIn the mountains

a bright and brilliant day.

In the valley

a lingering blue haze lay.

The mysterious valley covered by mist—

no sign

Of life, no sounds;

A house, a tilled field, a crooked line

A rural road leading to the mist-bound

Distant mountains nearly lost to view.

The young man in a rumpled

uniform and straw hat began

an  introduction of himself.

His talk,

A little


A restless child distracts,

But anyway

We begin our walk.

A short descent into the thicket.

There a look at some things displayed,

and deep into

The wooded trail, then

around a bushy

The Appalachia forest cool and dark

Revealed its secrets through the smart

Young man.

“Up to the Franklin Cliffs,”

the park ranger and

naturalist prodded the

Stragglers as they started

to climb.

Continuing on, the ranger instructed

the novice on trees,

the shrubs and life

In the forest through which we wandered.

Short of breath but exhilarated by a

place so beautiful and the mountain air,

Up we went, through the brush, around a tree,

And then, unannounced the hike was over;

at the top

of the trail,

The Franklin Cliffs.

Our vantage view did only stop

The little group from family tiffs,

And silly mouthing, for a second, and

Then, they all returned to normality

That made us no more than another

lowland band

Of senseless urbanites

Trussed in our egos;

Traveling only to see the sights.

Whatever they may be.

But, when at home, they’d think back,

So much they talked and snapped;

So much to see, but saw it black.

The crowded mind of the ego balked

At the freedom of the mountain sky.


for a minute I was allowed to look,

and saw the valley at my feet.

The only thought I had as I took

the last glance into the air

was, at last we meet.

O God, you are there!

William Frank Bellais
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