On Your Way to the Clouds

by Kristina Woodhill

When you go looking for a tree to climb
head for the old honey locust
along that foot-worn path
where we buried our box of wishes
before clocks realized their faces

our own small hands
already busy turning and over turning,
always at touch
with bush and berry,
soil and slow moving slug,
pointing out
rough bark and imagined bear track

while tree climbing
commit to using all of your nimble,
attempt the woodpecker position,
the nuthatch's upside down view

hug and handle the trunk, its bark,
finger and squeeze younger limbs,
their pocks, fissures, pealing natures;
share a scab, compare deep skin cuts and aging elbow knots

petite honey locust leaves
allow an open air ascent,
plenty of views pointing to the out there;
just once be the compass,
spinning but never far from the trunk

fit a finger inside a shallow knot hole
where spiders might startle,
envy eight legs

higher up
fit your face tightly to a side opening,
mind enter the cluttered magpie nest,
chaotic interwoven brittle branches outside
masking smooth bowl of comfort inside

defy a parent's scolding if you approach in spring

from below
allow the trolls to peek and posture,
chomping their heavy teeth,
reclaiming a big-foot stomping myth
while you wave, dismissing their spells

don't be stilted or belayed by
pretense and provocation,
tape those firmly to the kite you brought along
casting them all to the gathering breeze


Posted on 01/03/2019
Copyright © 2021 Kristina Woodhill

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 01/03/19 at 09:11 PM

Love this unexpected gem, Kristina. Eclectic messages, images and humor. Great for kids and adults alike. 10 out of 10 in my books. The kite part is a great way to close off...reconnects me with my childhood. I'm working on a prose piece that includes flying a kite. Hope to have it up sometime this month.

Posted by Philip F De Pinto on 01/06/19 at 05:52 PM

Kristina. Beautiful doesn't begin to describe this poem to nature and all that is resident therein. It is nothing less than magic performed with the soul's wand, a tale spun by a weaver signifying everything.

Posted by Glenn Currier on 01/09/19 at 04:35 PM

I'm with Phil who says it in his inimitable way. I imagined the leaves and what they must see floating into the sky, and the finger into the spidey place had me feeling almost squeamish, but I enjoyed the envy for the eight legs. The style of your poem causes me to float with you in nature feeling its charm vicariously. You drew me into your experience or imagination and that is a great feat for any poet or story teller. Thanks so much, Kristina for this superb poem.

Posted by Johanna May on 02/05/19 at 11:45 PM

*looking up* You look great up there, still down here with my fear of heights, thank you for paving the way. |<3

Posted by Johanna May on 02/05/19 at 11:47 PM

*looking up* You look great up there, still down here with my fear of heights, thank you for paving the way. <3 the internal rhyme with some of the vowels of each words as the same. It's very smooth to read.

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