Whisper in the wilderness



Selected poems




Thunder and lightning bowled through the middle

of torrential water-burst, scattering

worriers and wildlife, while those parched

and drought-famished cheered on. A clap

of surprise was etched in the snow-gum's

memory, as his bark ripped from his trunk

like a cast-off bathing towel on the way to the surf.

On the mulchy undergrowth the snow-gum's

remnant settled as if always meant to hug

the clump of mismatched leaves and sticks.

The next morning, light-washed and steamy,

laid gently on the rapscallion skink,

who snuck right under the bark's cover

to search out ants and bugs. The ants,

meanwhile, were busy drawing criss-cross

parallel tracks with their sloppy feet. If

it weren't for their industry, I doubt

there'd be any reason for any of it. Or

is it, I wonder, the harking to and

peering at that which has its own reasons,

that takes being God's word without saying.




Whisper in the wilderness

The answer came well before the question.

Something hidden in the undergrowth of my heart;

unearthing it was an art form meant for

the most determined bugs. Those petty thoughts

that bugged me waited for the whoosh

to be scattered to the winds. Out here in the

bush nothing is predictable and nothing nearly

happened. I mean, for all the numerical majority

of trees, all I recalled were the snakes.

And being awake was my only achievement, yet

I guess it got the better of me eventually.

In the wilderness I found my wilderness.

In the remedy lurked the disease. You see,

what I find out here amongst the trees

is not the trees. It is the wilderness within me

and the good doctor who knows, and does nothing.



Elizabeth YoungElizabeth Young rsm was born in rural South Australia and professed as a Sister of Mercy in 2010. Her ministries have arisen from her studies in circus arts and theology, and she is currently a pastoral worker in the Wilcannia-Forbes Diocese, NSW. Some of her poems can be found at https://ddgfriv.wordpress.com

Topic tags: Elizabeth Young, poetry



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Existing comments

Positive introspection; a rare art; Clearly and tenderly expressed.
alan roberts | 14 March 2019

Beautifully expressed, thanks, Elizabeth.
Peter Dowling | 15 March 2019

Great imagery. I have experienced wilderness in me, amongst numerous trees. I understand. Truly beautiful words.
Sandra Young | 15 March 2019

Wonderful images, especially of the tree shedding its bark. The wilderness in us is so well expressed in the second poem. Wilcannia- Forbes is lucky to have you.
Eleanor Flynn | 20 March 2019

Beautiful, inner journey provoking images... Thank you Elizabeth..
Marie Murphy | 20 March 2019


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