creswick forest / calumbeen

Shalome Knoll

you alter me
as silently as trees.
the feather-like fronds
of your understory
reach into the pathways
of my mind, brushing up
against nerve cells alert 
with their constant rush
of synapses.
And yet, your touch
makes them still
so that my breath flows
more easily, my heart beats
more gently, my body
softens into my seat.
i haven’t even left my car.

And yet i feel the humus
of the forest floor
in my flesh. its cool, damp, dryness
laying like a poultice under my skin
healing all the fractured membranes
chomping all the half-dead nuclei, 
digesting the unloved dna
making it into dirt - beautiful, 
loamy soil.

As if i was standing with my feet buried now
i feel the soft workings of fungi between my toes
between the fibres of my muscles
between sinew and bone
working their way up
to my heart, right inside the chambers
so that its beat comes into the rhythm
of the fabulous xylem flows
within the trunks of your trees.

what magic are you working here
in my body, as i drive my kids to school?
what secret ways of being are you writing
in my heart? my body thanks you, while my mind
goes spinning out to find the answers 
to questions it will never truly know.

Shalome Knoll is an eighth generation Australian woman of UK and European descent. She is deeply curious about the interrelationship between mental health and the natural world, and writes from her experiences of being or becoming part of the landscapes she inhabits.

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