The Bark Beneath My Palm

Life has been feeling a little hectic lately and, Michelle and I have not had much time for camping, hiking, or our other typical adventure activities. This disconnection from nature has made Jan. – Feb. a challenging time for me, but luckily I have writing as an emotional escape. This poem was born on a Saturday morning while I was sitting on our back porch listening to the birds, enjoying the sun, and relaxing with the pup. We had already made plans to go hiking for the afternoon, but these words just kept repeating themselves over and over in my head. I think they capture the hectic pace our lives can sometimes take very well.

This is The Bark Beneath My Palm. I hope you enjoy it.

* * *

The Bark Beneath My Palm

Some days you just have to touch a tree to know it is real.

I can no longer feel,
the bark beneath my palm,
the dirt grasped in my hand.
I can no longer hear,
the birds joyful spring songs,
the coyotes haunting howls.
I can no longer see,
the grass vibrant and green,
the forest that surrounds.

Instead, I only see
images of places I
want to be on a screen.
Instead, I only hear
people shout and cars honk,
a city’s constant breath.
Instead, I only feel
the self-defeat brought on
when nature is left-out.

I can no longer feel,
the bark beneath my palm,
the dirt grasped in my hand.

* * *

Of course, there is no better cure to the outdoor blues than to get outside. Later that day Michelle, Athena, and I completed a 6-mile hike around Umstead State Park. Umstead is a beautiful park located within the middle of Raleigh and offers visitors options for camping, horse back riding, cycling, and hiking. It is truly a gem.

Here are a few photos from our walk in the woods.



2 thoughts on “The Bark Beneath My Palm

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