A Voice In The Woods Salem Hills Park Poem by Daniel Brick

A Voice In The Woods Salem Hills Park

Whose woods these are I think I know....
Robert Frost

These woods are not meant
for you, although you lay claim
to them. 'Perhaps they are mine, '
you are thinking, but I am here,
guardian of the woods, to interrupt
that thinking in your confused mind:
meaning is not the issue. Nothing
you can call forth from the depths
of your serpentine mind, coiling
around thoughts like its prey,
squeezing their life out, nothing
from that dark place has meaning
for things thriving in these woods.

I see you walking, stumbling really
along these paths, your head bowed,
your mind burning. Look up! Look out
at these from your distance: patches
of trees alternate with snowy fields.
Nature is reduced to two colors, black
and white, and silence. And what are you
but a shadow, passing by and then away?
The next time you enter these woods,
you will not hear me. I will have merged
with bark and root, slipped into the pores
of rocks, disappeared into the flight
of birds. Heed me now: listen, watch, wait.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Topic(s) of this poem: nature
Souren Mondal 16 January 2016

I find this poem to be an intricate one that might be interpreted on many levels, but what I feel, primarily, this poem is nearly a 'dedoublement' and reminds me of Eliot's 'Love Song'. To take it from a Freudian perspective, I assume the woods/darkness suggest the unconscious mind of the speaker. The lines - '[...]Nothing you can call forth from the depths of your serpentine mind, coiling around thoughts like its prey[...]' are perhaps an expression of the 'wild', 'untamed' desires of human beings, sans any restriction of anything... These thoughts/desires are hard to accept until we enter the 'darkness' where away from our 'social mask' the 'shadow' comes forth. The lines - ' And what are you but a shadow, passing by and then away? ' are also significant because it subverts the usual idea that our masks are our real selves.. It is NOT. It is the SHADOW.. The final lines show how man, in it's pure 'wild' nature, is nothing as we think it to be - it is an animal - a 'social animal' outside the wild, but still an animal that reveals it's true 'colours' (just 'black and white, and silence') , when kept in it's original, maybe 'natural' habitat... A wonderful poem Daniel, rich, complex, open to all sorts of interpretations, and one, when read with care, will give goosebumps! !

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Pamela Sinicrope 13 January 2016

Who is the Voice in the Woods? Which Daniels are there? Both of them? I agree, the woods are not owned by any of us. The animals don't care who has the deed or who walks the trails. We all live and exist together in this snowy wilderness, enjoying the beauty that the earth provides us. Look up! Look out! I see the speaker, head bowed, mind burning. One day he will meld with 'his' woods, and become one with nature completely. One day we all will.

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Kelly Kurt 12 January 2016

Bob Frost would be proud, as he is now mingled with the elements too

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Daniel Brick 13 January 2016

And I hope for nothing more than my elements return to the earth's keeping and use again. Resurrection, Life Everlasting, Heaven - none of that, just a swirl of energy and matter that pours forth life after life after.... That's enough. But oblivion apparently scares a lot of humans over the ages.

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Kim Barney 12 January 2016

I really like this, Daniel. Maybe some other things we think of as being 'ours' really aren't! Well done.

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Daniel Brick 13 January 2016

Yes, that feeling of possessiveness has led to the rape of the earth. Participation should be the key attitude and behavior with nature. I met two other walkers in the park who applauded our small suburb for setting this hill aside as a protected natural area. That's what inspired the poem, and our celebration.

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