I'd come to this obscure corner of
the center of a rich forest
there are no boundaries
to this forest land
any tree lover will
know when they've arrived there.
Big skies were behind me
the highway ran beneath walls of green
the road a shaved
strip through a carpet of forest.
Grand firs and lacy white pines, and
red cedar: their sweeping limbs called me
reaching outward like gothic angels'
The hemlocks sneaked in, a
dark, haunting element.
As a kid amidst this forest,
bringing stories of the wild woods back
I was quick and eager
to explain how
hemlock and sword fen
survived in the low-elevation
Plopped between arid landscapes
this cloaked country
above the river canyon.
Dark, feathery foliage dangled over a hazy
blue gap below.
Looking west, there was
and piles of snow still covered the trail.
But the storms regathered to create another wet
Beside a crystalline creek,
I was sitting in emerging sunshine,
gazing at lower slopes.
Soon our trail entered the woods--
a new grove of trees below,
in the cedars.
Over a cold spring-fed creek,
the cedars were king.
In these woods,
western white pines once
dominated an endless grove of
tall straight trees.
I was giddy. The river glowed golden
from yellow boulders.
Around the first bend, a cow elk stood on
shore, head down eating streamside grasses.
I wandered upstream,
Up and up along a spine
ridge with views of the river below,
lost in reverie when
sunlight shone ahead of me
and nearby fir trees were
forming a clear-cut:
wild nature was behind,
left below in its canyon.
The sun was setting over the rim
of the canyon
behind silouhettes of hemlock
hanging like a veil over the forgotten
forests of the interior.
Caviardage poem created from Tyler Williams' article "Clearwater Country", in American Forests, Fall 2018, pp. 34-39.
Picure by courtesy of Jaymantri via pexels.com
It can be lonely
into the deep forest
yet I love
the shadows playing with
the light in the submerged
world of trees
where you can be silent
or cry and nobody will ever
find out, except for them.
I love letting loose my hair
in the wind and feel
the ancient wildness roar
My skin could ripple like a wave
under your devoted explorer's
our hearts could love
with no strings and ties
our bodies could intertwine
Beyond clinging, there is
freedom to be for us.
under the deep green shade
where we can lie down.
Listening to the deep voice
of the forest and its denizens
we can share our wordless secrets
and you can make plaits
of my hair.
I can caress your eyes
we can touch each other with
a naked gaze and hand
the hunger of the eager
when they recognise
one another at length:
like outlaws living on
the border, beyond this
age of conventions.
Wild currents lull me into the Great Awakening,
light floods my ephemeral being
turning it into a transparent lake.
Translucent Silence moulds the soul into a fragrant rose.
Tongues of fire light the way into Victory and Surrender.
From timelessness, I behold the Earth,
the sacred body of the World's Soul.
A blade of grass shines into Infinity
and -- wonder of wonders -- in the fields
of the heart, what is small expands.
Says the Self to the Self:
I have stood before the mirror of time
searching into the well of my eyes
for the question without answer
that only asks of itself,
the quest for freedom;
but when I met You
I realised I can only love my Beloved
as the Cosmos dances its veiled figures
into being forevermore: intimations
of immortality in every physical form.
Ripples of eternity come clashing
into the wave of becoming
and sometimes, inexplicably,
the fire of Love gets sparked.
Sometimes, when it is sweet or painful
to be alive, the hands of the Universe
weave blue, purple, gold, red threads
into a magic grid before my eyes.
Then, I dive deep into the Heart
and in the music of Silence the Lover
and the Beloved become One.