Forest Gumption

Forest Gumption

Sometimes driving by an empty field at evening
on an island somewhere
where we have gone to get away
from whatever it all is
I experience, out of nowhere, a primal longing
and I imagine stopping the car
and crossing that empty field
to enter the forest beyond
a forest that is shutting down for the evening
all rustle, chirp and squeak
and walking through that forest
I encounter in a clearing
a deer illuminated by a shaft of sunlight
the deer stares at me doe-eyed as I pass
but does not move,
as I continue down the trail
a ball of white gas darts between the trees
keeping pace
there’s a whiff of sulfur in the air
in another clearing I come across a log cabin
moss on the decaying cedar roof,
a thin wisp of smoke exiting the chimney
I walk across the slick green of the porch
and open the door to a room
smelling of mold and mouse shit
there is no furniture except for a table,
a chair, and an old fashioned typewriter
I walk to the table, sit down
and start to write this poem
I get to the point in the poem
where I sit down to write the poem
and there’s a knock on the door
I walk across the creaking floor
and open the door to a tall stranger
dressed in black, his wide-brimmed hat
pulled low over his eyes
“I’m in your poem”, he says,
in a voice that has travelled centuries,
“I’m in your poem, what happens next?”

(apologies to Stephen King)

Over at earthweal, Brendan asks us to write about “wildness”, that’s what I started with!

Also, taking part in Open Link over at dverse.

26 thoughts on “Forest Gumption

  1. Brendan

    Encountering wildness uses wilderness as its metaphor, though it really happens in every encounter enlivened by its specifics. This poem reminded me of a Gary Snyder poem where the finds poetry peering in from the darkness outside a campfire. That’s the old fella at the table.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sherry Marr

    Oh WOW!!!!!! This is superb. I LOVE it, though am a bit scared by the stranger in black. What a very cool idea, to write about the poem from inside the poem. Rather brilliant.


  3. anotherkatewilson

    I love this! It reminds me of one of my favourite books – “the year of the hare” by Arto Paasilinna. It’s what that movie “falling down” should have been – someone just choosing to walk out of the traffic.


  4. hedgewitch

    This rambles but with purpose, like a walk in the woods, a bit of a dark and ominous path followed, but one that leads somewhere since that typewriter invokes the oldest Visitor. I really admire how you have made this seem effortless as a stream of snowmelt, carrying nuance and leaving a freshness behind it.


  5. susanstoo

    Love! I too have let these moments pass by, but rarely carried myself into such a powerful story as the imagining continues!
    “I experience, out of nowhere, a primal longing
    and I imagine stopping the car
    and crossing that empty field
    to enter the forest beyond . . . “


  6. Pingback: Forest Gumption – Nelsapy

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