Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Poetry: The Touch

The Touch – April 30, 1998

I stand on a path in the forest beneath a grey, cloud-filled sky.
It is an early spring morning and there is chill in the air.
I can see my breath.

The leaves have begun to open on all the trees now.
The new leaves a fresh bright, wet green color that gets deeper with distance.
Blooms of purple-pink and white spread brush-strokes across the forest.

A misty rain begins, so light you can barely feel it.
I turn my face to the sky and yes, it’s there.
I smile as I realize that even this light rain makes a gentle sound.

I can hear birds singing too and every movement in the forest.
A ground squirrel scampers through the underbrush to my right.
I don’t know whether he knows I’m here…oh, he’s gone.

Now I’m aware of my breathing, which makes me inhale deeply.
The smells of the forest enter freely with the air into my lungs;
Flowers, trees, grass, freshness. The smell of rain; her smell.

I begin to walk forward along the path.
It is clear and straight and easily walked.
Now and again a small tree has fallen on the path that I must climb around or over.

This is a hilly place and the path runs atop a ridge,
The landscape falling away on each side into deep hollows.
Ahead and down the path I see a place that is filled with misty light. I walk.

It’s funny what rain does to sound in a forest.
It wets the ground and leaves so your passing makes no sound.
Then its gentle voice hides the sounds of the other residents of the wood, leaving you all alone.

Suddenly I’m in a glade. A gentle, open space
where even with the summer’s thick grown canopy,
you would easily see the sky.

I stand in the milky light of the glade. The flowered trees illuminated
By the natural skylight overhead and the few rays of sunlight which would not be caught
By cloud and leaves and rain.

A new sound from the west. Like a rushing wind but not. Somehow different,
Yet clearly there and growing, coming toward me like a wave.
It’s rain. I hear it coming but it’s not here yet. A harder, deeper rain than I feel now.

It comes. A deep, cool, still gentle rain, though larger, more substantial.
It gently soaks me, standing in the glade.
Soaks me with her smell. Caresses me with her gentle kiss.

I love this glade, this open space. I’m lucky to be here right now.
For the rain would have come anyway. Whether I’d been there to feel it or not.
And had I chosen a different path, a different day, a different way,

I’d never have felt her touch so far away.

- JT

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