Florida Keys Overseas Paddling Trail. By Len Bourret. (Copyright 2007)

Kayaking through the Florida Keys,
from dark depths of the Depression,
clusters of towering pine trees,
progress from Inflation and Recession,
bright rays of orange sunshine,
derived from one glimmer of light,
a positive sign,
a most-welcoming sight,
nature's array of beautiful plants,
majestic birds fly and swirl around,
no sounds of human raves and rants,
peace and quiet tranquilly abound,
vibrant azaleas and cabbage palms,
so stately, in a tropical breeze,
water oaks and loblolly pine psalms,
bluejays and cardinals flit through the trees,
mockingbirds perch on their branches,
singing to a most encouraging tune,
settled flocks of white pelican ranches,
sights of redfish swimming at noon,
seen drifting in a kayak,
watching wading birds feeding,
quite a distance from Nyack,
along a sandbar just reading,
about 1840's Great Seminole Raid,
mental images of the war canoes,
and the costly price that blood paid,
a red and white battle ensues,
in a rare cacti and a red-orchid mist,
gumbo limbo, stangler figs, and poisonwood,
must fighting persist?
the rough-hewn Civilian Conservation Corps,
men listening to Roosevelt's fireside chats,
the poor and unemployed continued to roar,
above the sounds of the aristocrats,
survivors persisting and resisting tyranny,
both the red and the white reflecting hope,
in legacies they created.

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Authors Note: When completed, this circumnavigational trail will begin in Pensacola and will run along Florida's west coast, stretching from the Keys and north of Jacksonville, making it much easier for kayakers to paddle through the Florida coastline. In 2008, the trail will be expanded from 110 to 1,500 miles. So, enjoy yourself, and start paddling!

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