Have you hiked on old-growth forest tracks in summer;
felt caresses cool as creek-song stroke your skin;
flinched at shying skinks, marked time with tree-frog drummer;
soaked in filtered light and cleansed the voice within?
Have you brushed the granite’s biceps with your fingers;
deep-inhaled the breath of ferns, fed hungry leech;
sniffed the lemon myrtle spice that wafts and lingers;
stretched your arms across the girth of ancient beech?
The orange ogres storm and spit and scream;
spew smoke that chokes and char-grills ferns and frogs;
shoot flames that punch and melt and boil and steam
and sear the skinks, roast fungi-coated logs.
So, how can ash-streaked humans soothe the strain
when forest tracks themselves cry out for rain?
© Robyn Sykes 2020
First published: Messages from the Embers, Black Quill Press, 2020. Ed Julia Kaylock and Denise O’Hagan.