W Roger Carlise

Nature Soothes My Soul

When I opened the door
I found the trees whispering
among themselves in a harmonious rhythm,
saw branches bowing to one another,
smelled pheromones signaling danger,
heard roots reaching and crackling underground.

My abrupt entrance made them
hush their emerald breaths,
the way a homeless man disrupts a church service,
everyone acting as if they were in a superior tribe,
as if the sermon had ended
just before he arrived.

I love the glimpse I had of their natural
caring spirits, the electricity I felt in their wise community,
the silent sound of their shared energy.
Next time I'll move like a cautious sunbeam, open
the door by inches, stand silently in awe, listen.


We sat in stony silence in the restaurant,
unable to find words for darkness, conflict,
and arguments we were living in.
Not even the weather was discussed.

Our exchanges came from rivers of dreams
from different sources, no sharing of feelings,
just angry repetitions of our unimaginative lives.

We drifted apart slowly, over time,
in a snowballing pattern of blame.
Each focused on what the other one was doing wrong,
justifying our own ways of doing things. 

Bewilderment engulfed our words,
discontent became permanent,
the marriage approached death
or years of painful growth.

Actually, we had great wealth buried in
our longing and need; we began a new journey
by going inside, finding separate Selves, grieving
vast continents of loss.

W Roger Carlisle is a 75-year-old, semi-retired physician. He currently volunteers and works in a free medical clinic for patients living in poverty. He is on a journey of returning home to better understand himself through poetry. He hopes he is becoming more humble in the process.

Flights, Issue Six, September 2022