deepundergroundpoetry.com

Forest walk

 
Boss gave us a day off –  
“take time to reflect and relax”
Smart, he knew we all needed it
So here I am, taking my writing book to my favourite trail
 
Bench #1 - Letting go
Deep breaths, the prescription for relaxation
just inhaling the scent
balsam, cedar, spruce, pine
I took off my sunglasses
 so I can take it all in
unfiltered
*
So, we’re on to a new phase, re-opening --
Just when I finally got used to
 the low-grade anxiety
 the wiping of all the things
 the distancing and isolation --
And now I’m supposed to just trust again?
 
Bench #2 - Noticing
I want to touch everything –  
 the rough lichen-clad trunk
 soft baby-skin of young maple leaves
 mounds of moss, soft but wiry
the contrast between prickly old  
 and rubbery new spruce needles
And now my hand is sticky with sap
*
The runners passed as I was crouched taking a photo –  
 the delicate pink nut-sack of a Lady’s Slipper just off the trail.
“Good eye!” she says.
Yes, I do have a good eye.  
 I was the kid who always found stuff on the ground
 and that’s why this walk might take me all day…
But in my distraction I forgot to touch the flower.
I wonder, would it feel warm?
 
Bench #3 - Awe
The beard moss feels like real beard, a yellow butterfly circles my head, the pine cone in my hand is full of potential, the trees are speaking, the birds sing along, wind breathes on my cheek, a pile of middings means a squirrel had lunch on that stump, dead trees are wise and beautiful, buttercups grow out of black muck...
...And I am overwhelmed.
Can’t take it all in.
my senses are too slow
to fathom the mysteries of forest.
*
In front of me is another grove of Lady’s Slippers.
This time I’ll touch them, when I get up.
One mystery at a time.
 
Bench #4 - Purpose
I came here for a purpose –  
to listen.
Archaeology shows that people have lived here  
 for over ten thousand years.
Such arrogance in my forebears –  
 to look at this place and call it “uninhabited”
 simply because the inhabitants hadn’t visibly altered its beauty.
It’s likely I carry that same arrogance – what do I not see?
This lush, vibrant world has no need of me.
 Given time, I’m likely to make things worse, rather than better.
A mourning dove joins my lament as I walk, pondering my worthlessness.
And now, sitting with my back against a tree,
 I listen to water tumbling in the brook.
When did it start? When will it end?
That flow is eternal,
 and worthless as I am,
 nevertheless, I am here now.
*
I love that someone posted the original Mi’kmaw names  
 on the waterways here.
Mikjikj Sipujij – Turtle Brook.
Someone else carved their name in a stump.
We do things like that.
As if it could add to the perfection.
 
Bench #5 - Humility
Still trying to listen,
 to the forest and the trees,
 to discover my part in it.
All it keeps saying is
“it’s not about you”.
 
*
 
Liberating,  
 it’s a satisfactory answer
 for just about every question.
 
 
brokentitanium
Written by brokentitanium (k.)
Published | Edited 22nd Jun 2020
All writing remains the property of the author. Don't use it for any purpose without their permission.
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