So many of my wanders in the woods are rich with sensation and dimension, yet remain in pre-verbal states. The following is a stream of consciousness attempt at sharing a recent wander on a familiar trail. I invite you to soften your eyes around the words and to feel for the movement within your own body of what is described below.
In my slow wander up the mountain, I search for you. I was sure we’d meet at the base of the crag, side by side, looking up…saying hello to the steady stones that have held us, again and again. I scramble up the rock-face to find you, yet (only) find myself, lying across a rock, drinking in sunshine.
I think I feel you, and sit up— bones of pelvis opening down to stone of mountain, opening up to me.
I become the peak— my tongue beginning somewhere deep inside the belly of stone, traveling up through my pelvis— tongue to roof of mouth sliding forward, touching then passing through teeth to reach out into the air. Open, open, open.
A low pine faces me, its needles icicle-d by sun, revealing budding cones. Tip of tongue, bud of cone. Tasting air….and waiting.
In and out I flow, tongue to teeth, down throat, through pelvis, into belly of stone. Resting here….then back up again, all the way to the tip of my budding tongue.
Out and in, in and out— mountain-belly-body-tongue-pine-sunshine.
I have yet to find you— as over and over, the wind passes through me. More air than bone, I descend the rock, treading an icy trail at the base, beginning my journey home.
I arrive, just as the blue hour begins its spreading— across sky, field, distant mountains.
— I spread —
I lay myself across the thawing field, pores mingling with mud, grass, and insects— all bodies slowly awakening.
This “you” I am searching for, this you I am waiting for, this you I feel in the mountain, tasting with pelvis and tongue— this “you” is a poem—words encapsulating this moment the way the sun captures pine needles and holds them, shimmering.
This poem, ever-illusive, hands “you” to me, says you and I are the same (are one)…
So tease my body open, until I am a full stretch of landscape budding, until I am words flowing, until I am air-earth breathing, until
(You Are. We.)
Thank you for your presence here.
photos, group 1: me, Bonticou Crag, March 17, 2019.
photo2: me, field near Springfarm Trailhead, March 25, 2019.