Taking My Grandsons to the Forest Today
by Sharon SingingMoon 

“Teach (Y)our Children Well…” Graham Nash

Beneath the shower of golden autumn leaves
we talk of acorns & chicken of the woods
of the deer we know are there
but are too shy to show themselves

We sing made-up songs
along the trail to a nearby creek
kneel & find a wooly worm
rusty orange & black

We invent stories about where
she is going & why—we build
a fairy house beside some mossy stones
thinking she may move in

We talk of how the trees are magic
their lives & ours sharing breath
of how the birds & squirrels
foxes & raccoons are our relations

How we live among so many creatures
each with a life as special as our own
sharing space on this amazing
rotating rock we call Earth

We laugh when I slip in a muddy spot
place a finger to our lips—shhhhh—
a deer drinks from a sinkhole pond
we learn something new—karst topography

We sit in a sunny spot, pull fresh apple slices
& homemade muffins wrapped in cotton napkins
from a worn backpack, drink cool water
from reusable water bottles

We lie back to see how blue the sky is
how crunchy are the fallen leaves
we make a game of counting acorns
toss small stones into the creek

We breathe deeply, smell wet soil, forest life
choose a special leaf—one each
to press between the pages of our journals
write short poems & mark this day with hugs

PAINTING: Teaching Grandson by Norval Morrisseau.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I find solace in the natural world as well as the inspiration to share with others through poetry, short fiction and the visual arts.  We are facing a crisis of our own making and it is imperative that we teach future generations to respect all living being who share this Earth with us. As our own indecision and hubris inhibit progress, the children and grandchildren are calling for action.  They will need a firm foundation of respect and care for the Earth. It is our profound duty to nurture their innate joy in & love for the natural world.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sharon SingingMoon is a poet and visual artist living in mid-Missouri. Sharon draws inspiration from the natural world and our human struggle to balance mind/body/spirit in the face of our own hubris. In between long hikes and watching the fox family living under the neighbor’s carport, she dabbles in screenwriting and is working on a historical fiction YA novel. Sharon has a Master’s degree in Public Administration and worked as a lobbyist for social justice issues, spearheading several progressive advancements in Missouri before retiring to garden, write, and travel. Her recent poetry collection, Random Seed, is available at independent bookshops across Missouri and Kansas.