We share many things, this Dutch Iris and I
Both tall and slender, bask in warming weather
Country of heritage by name together
Blue edged with gold in the iris of my eye
We just got back from a forest retreat in a rustic cabin… no electricity, no running water, no gadgets…. Only us and the forest. Though it was only for a few days, the experience was significant in many ways. I hope to share more in the coming days as I integrate and process the experience, but here is the first poem to emerge.
Morning is beautiful because
the dark has fled and you turn inward
to the poet speaking outward
and baptizing your eyes with sight
reaching deep into the forest’s green shadows…
A stag breaks from the brush.
Startling you in its immediacy.
Nature leaves a layer on you –
cuts and sweat and smoke and Earth.
A domestic embrace we call dirt and grime
in the wild city, running to the shower to scrape
and scrub, pushing it away to the invisible,
only to replace it each morning
with plastic and greed and exhaust and deceit.
A truck rumbles down the street.
Startling you in its hubris.
Yes, the honest smoke from the campfire still clings,
searing the soothing ritual of sweat and dust into your skin.
The breeze grants you a part in birdsong poetry,
the movement of the city reminds you of being
green-washed and cradled in layers of stillness.
The experience settles in.
Startling you in its recognition.
Crane’s wing sweeps
floating like snowfall
Sweetly poised, graceful dancer
elegant hunter, steady watcher
Bugling call shakes dust from the soul
opening the inner sight to wondrous colors
eyes within eyes
blessed and cursed
with two clarities
seeing what is
seeing what is to be
doomed to record
as if it is past
forced to feed
here and now
yet to be baked
by the hands
ensuring a slow
a foreshortened life
the day it was born
(originally posted December 2013)