Into the Wild

Awe inspiring, ever changing, the primordial source of life and of art. In this section, contributors Kirsten Strom, Nina Finley, Sandy Grieve, Natalie Corthesy, Husnia Safari, and Alistair Fraser draw from the physical world.

Husnia Safari. “Girl Under Moon.”

Resilience

by Kirsten Strom

Look at you

eyes blue

cheeks blood-bloomed

beard – white – curled by the breeze

Arms and legs fresh to the air

your shirt and trousers short

Squinting

Face set

like iron

to the thrust of the wind

like some Norse warlord

bones built for colder climes

I only wish

I’d caught the same resilience

A Delight in Wildness

by Alistair Fraser

In the over half century since I was at Goodenough College, the world’s population has become increasingly urban. Over the years, I also lived in a variety of major cities, yet in retirement I chose to settle on the shore of a mountain lake amidst forests and glaciers in western Canada. From this vantage, my camera and I wander woods and waterways as I delight in wildness.

The kestrel is the smaller of our two resident falcons. A chick In the cavity nest is urgently anticipating breakfast in the form of a headless bird. The bird is headless because daddy stopped after capturing it and ate the bird’s tasty brains. There is just no point in wasting the really good stuff on the kiddies.
The Great Blue Heron will eat anything it can catch and swallow whole. Here it has stalked and, with a quick thrust, captured a vole. What is striking about this image is the eye-to-eye contact between predator and prey. Does the vole know what happens next?
A black bear cub has just caught his first Kokanee salmon. For weeks prior, mommy had caught a fish, and had taken it to the bank and torn it into pieces for her cub to eat. Now it was the cub’s turn to catch one — although he didn’t seem quite sure what to do with it.
The Osprey feeds exclusively on fish that it catches live when it plunges up to a metre deep into the lake. It then struggles to lift the fish from the water so it can fly off with its prize. Recording their abrupt emergence from the water was a delight — just try to capture this transient event somewhere out over a large lake.
This scene was well over thirty years in the conception. That is how long I sought a rainbow in the sky with the circle completed below by what appears to be its reflection. Mind you, it is not actually a reflection of the sky bow, but a wholly different bow involving other groups of raindrops interacting with a reflection from the lake. Alas, stormy waters usually prevent the simple reflection. But one June evening, everything came together.
Husnia Safari. “Foregrounded Rose.”

Up

by Natalie Corthesy

Summer’s persistent wings
flapped against the sombre clouds.
As a child I often dreamed of flying things.
Humming birds dizzily playing hop scotch in my mother’s garden.
Lemon-yellow butterflies filling the buoyant pews
encircling the lignum vitae’s altar of lilac blossoms.

A sad sky swallowed my sun
before I could mount it’s back and glide over the blues.
Pointless to imagine a smoky plume lifting me high.
I grew up into a wild featherless thing. Nobody taught me how.
I never asked for the cage I was given.
It’s too late for me to fly now.

Winter

by Kirsten Strom

I.

Frozen feeling

on a bench

waiting

while the world warms up

What made

everyone who sits next to me

remind me of you?

II.

In the mornings on the train

Everyone just barely alive

Numb noses

Jaded eyes

Wait for your minds

to thaw

and think

aching

thoughts

Wait for your feet to unfreeze

Wait for your cheeks to feel

And the sky to crack open

with light

III.

Skimming through the frozen world

Up to your ears

in comfort-quiet

Waiting for dusk to descend

Watching at the coldest point before dawn

Still

Quieter

IV.

I have never felt so at peace

As in this liquid silvered silence

The flickering lights so poignant, so beautiful

They are 

fragile

as porcelain

like the memory of you

Cross Country

by Sandy Grieve

I’ve come to my fork in the road,

With a knife in my back,

Choking on a silver spoon.

Do I chew the carrot or suffer the stick?

Pushed by the pain or lured by the lick.

It makes no difference to anyone.

Its my voice and my choice to share,

But not this time, it’s up to me.

A decision must be made,

A game must be played.

Of course not all the rules are known.

Too many rules that’s what’s wrong,

Too many, where did they all come from?

Left or right, up or down,

One might work, both might work, or none.

But I’ll tell you, I’ve decided what to do.

With a knife in my back and choking on a silver spoon,

I’ll not let the road dictate to me.

I’m going to go on neither fork,

Instead, I’ll go cross country.

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