nature, Personal, Poetry Friday

Out of my element

Photo: Pixabay

Out of my element

I bushwack through brush
trying to remember to hand off
face-high branches to the hiker
just behind
keep an eye out for stinging
nettle, poison oak
haul myself up thigh-burningly
steep hills, inch down steep declines
side-footed with the caution
of an arthritic senior
but when we reach the stream
bridged by a fallen log
I freeze.

How will I cross
without my pack throwing me
off balance?
Pray my shoes sprout cleats.
Envision crawling across
the narrow rounded bridge
on hands and knees…

“Come on!” my friend cries
as she lithe-springs
from log to shore.
But how can I “come on”
with feet and legs possessed
by sweaty

© 2017 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

Prompt – Inspiration
The prompt for this November 2012 poem was “Write a poem that scares you. It could be a scary movie or ghost story poem. It could be a poem about a secret in your past. It could be a poem about your worst fear. It just needs to bring up a scary/fearful/uncomfortable emotion as you write.”


VintagePADThis April I’m celebrating National Poetry Month by posting some not-as-yet published poems from my files, along with what inspired them. If the prompt inspires you to write a poem of your own, you’re welcome to share it in comments. Whether you write or not, thanks so much for dropping by!


Poetry Friday LogoThis poem is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Tabatha Yeatts at her wonderfully eclectic blog Tabatha Yeatts: The Opposite of Indifference.

19 thoughts on “Out of my element”

    1. Thanks, Tabatha, This would be a composite poem of all the frightening times I was challenged to cross streams on logs, especially the years I hung out with friends who loved to hike in the mountains of north B.C. Sometimes I tottered across. Once or twice I refused and maybe we turned back… don’t remember.



  1. Oh Violet, we have all been there facing the log at some point, haven’t we? I remember being with my father once at the headwaters of the Mississippi River on a very wet, nasty day, there was a (mossy) log just like the one in your picture, and the opportunity to say “I crossed the headwaters of the Mississippi.” But it was too slick. I was sure I would fall. So I didn’t. I’m not sorry I didn’t. There is also beauty in creating safety for oneself. But on a sunny, dry day I might have made a completely different decision! Thank you for your poem. xo


  2. Why is it I can scamper just fine down a log lying on the ground, but freeze when it is high above a stream? I can relate to that fear–sometimes I inch across and sometimes take my chances getting my feet wet down below.


    1. Thanks Katswhiskers. “Or not depart from” – I like that! The older I get the more things I get to say, “I don’t do that any more” without people saying (or probably thinking) – “Oh, you should try.” Daredevil? Not me!!


  3. Your poem put me on the shore with you: ‘come on’ or not to ‘come on’. Depending on the day and my mood, I could do either. Sometimes I get wet, other times I stay dry, but always making up my OWN mind. Great poem, Violet! =)


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