Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New year, new explorations

Happy 2012, dear friends and visitors. I wish you all a wonderful year ahead filled with love, creativity and new discoveries!


I ventured onto a path long abandoned,
leaving long straight ways, the shade
of planted trees and paved roads,
tracked through a tangle of twigs and
hanging branches that scratch and tear
and prod, ripping open sleeves,
drawing blood, going for my eyes.

Spider web wrap around my face --
I fear the spiders getting into my hair,
the bodies of those they drained
of blood and life cling onto my clothes.


On the jungle floor, centipedes crawl, ants ride on millipedes,
leeches lurk and lunge for warm blood, blue-green feathered
fowl sweeps the ground for snails; on ends of leaf tips, wasps
seal combs of their hexagonal homes, swarms of gnats abuzz
around a family of mud-caked hogs, noses to ground, feeding.


An alien with size 6 rubber shoes, rudely
bright colored backpack and tools, intrudes --
scattering insects, overturning rocks,
snapping branches, unsettling pools....

The jungle fowl fled deeper into the thick of leaves; angry
vibrations of rapid beating wings, needles dagger-mark
my exposed neck; above, monkeys whooped in alarm,
below, twines and roots attempt to trip. I feel a burning
sting of a wasp on my wrist. A mango falls, splits at my feet.

I cover my ears, hold my breath,
break for the edge, back to the road,

back into exile.


Pathless native tropical jungles and wetlands are not always welcoming to visitors, in some cases, it can feel downright hostile. It takes preparation, care and respect to trek through a jungle or explore a swamp without too much disruption to the residents or frustration to self.

Posted at dVerse Open Link Night #25. Please join us for some great poetry and share your own!


Pat Hatt said...

Nice trek through the jungle scape. So true too we are the foriegn objects in there and they can be quite hostile to get through.

Brian Miller said...

nice...it is nice to know a few wilds still exist you know...we have taken most in our desire to consume...perhaps it is better we dont go there....but i love the untamed feel of it...

Unknown said...

Raven, amazing write to kick off the new year. Just loved the journey, great use of imagery…very trippy feel. Loved it. Thanks

Beth Winter said...

Metaphorically, we can't ever go back, can we? Amazing imagery capturing the feel of the jungle and for me, a strong metaphorical write.

hedgewitch said...

I've had days in the garden that felt like that, I think--where everything combines to fight you, to preserve its natural state--one has to work with it all, as you say. Loved your images here, esp the ants riding the millipedes, like a fairytale illustration, but a bit more creepy.

Anonymous said...

This is wonderful and reminded me of Thoreau being frightened out of his wits spending the night on a mountain during a storm. He had to reconcile his romantic ideal of nature with its reality. This wasn't his pond haven. This works on so many levels!

Claudia said...

wow..the wasp stitch, the mango splitting at the feet - never went to the jungle, but strolling from the well-worn paths has its price..in reality and metaphorically - but unknown pleasures and beauty as well.. enjoyed this a lot raven

Unknown said...

A fabulous if not terrifying trek through nature and the how the mind reacts to it Thank you for sharing really enjoyed this x

Ravenblack said...

Pat, Brian, Fred, Beth, Hedgewitch, Anna, Claudia, kez: thanks for reading and for the comments.

As a city person, a park reserve is wild enough but the deeper one goes, the more wonders one can find but the more effort it takes to enjoy the native surroundings. This poem is based off my first experience going off the established path, simply pushing through some leaves. I didn't take very many steps before I wanted out of there in a big hurry. I still love to explore reserves but tend to keep to the worned or established paths.

~L said...

full of such imagination and magical writing! Great poem:)

dsnake1 said...

love your last line, back into exile. :)

it's a wonder that in our highly urbanised society, there are still huge pockets of untouched jungles. are you referring to the Mandai or Pierce forest reserves? it is wise to keep to the established paths, and venture in groups - and take along your cell phone. :) there was this guy who was lost trekking in the jungle recently and he was saved because he was able to use his phone. amazing technology we had. :D

thanks for the read. :)

Ravenblack said...

L: Thanks! Much appreciated.

dsnake: This island would be unbearable if not for those green zones. It's one of the things the government did right.

I'm not comfortable with exploring Mandai alone, Lower Pierce is rather nice and easy for me to get to. I go there quite often. I really like Sungei Bulok wetland reserves as well. It's better than the Ubin one (Chek Jawa). MacRitchie is the largest, but also the most crowded -- no use going there because all you get to see is monkeys - both furry and clothed ones. The trouble with MacRitchie is that is quite sterile of insects.

Scarlet said...

I like the journey of the wilds with your words..very vivid descriptions. I live in the city, and if I wanted to go and see nature, I would have to travel far away.

Thanks for sharing this ~

Anonymous said...

Loved the images and it reminded me of times when I trekked through rain forest

Other Mary said...

Oooh, very buggy. Great images here, you hit on some primal 'ickies' here. The image of nature working to keep us out is palpable.

Ravenblack said...

Heaven, marousia, Mary, thanks for your comments. :)

Sheila said...

sounds like a frightening journey. one I am not sure I could make. (bugs - oh my!)

Bodhirose said...

Yes, sometimes the wilderness is just that...wild! Wise to be prepared. I really enjoyed this trek into nature.

Daydreamertoo said...

There is hardly anywhere left untouched by the hand of man's greed to exploit the land and, apart from true Native people's who still appreciate the belssings we are given we don't deserve it all.
I loved this.

Ravenblack said...

Sheila, Bodhirose, Daydreamer, thanks for coming by.

I think we lost knowing how to fit in but I also think we weren't meant to be in certain types of environments too. We are given smarts and opposing thumbs. :) We can live wherever we want through our adaptability and use of tools but we tend to take too much and violently, I don't know if we deserve to be treated better visiting these natural places. Just musing. :)

Anonymous said...

I love the imagery here, and how you captured the feeling of walking into the unknown. Very well done.

And I have to agree with a previous commenter. That last line is pretty great right there.

Excellent work with this.

Ravenblack said...

Thanks, skyraft. Much appreciated your comments.

Raven said...

Happy New Year to you Ravenblack. You painted an excellent picture. I was with you all of the way, best shown by my cringing at the bugs and leaches (not my friends). Next time I will sit out upon a rock on the roadside while you go deep into the jungle. :) Raven

Laurie Kolp said...

Reminds me of an excursion I once had into the Big Thicket. I haven't returned.

Ravenblack said...

Wearing the right clothes helps, I can deal with the bugs, but spiders -- I still can't stand those little horrors. :D

Anonymous said...

A wonderful sense of the landscape here--the good and bad, ugly, wonderful.

Ravenblack said...

Thanks ManicD :)