Forest tracks

Robyn Sykes.

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.