A Poem: Wilderness by Ian McCallum

2nd September 2016

A Poem: Wilderness by Ian McCallum

Have we forgotten
that wilderness is not a place,
but a pattern of the soul
where every tree, every bird and beast
is a soul maker?

Have we forgotten
that wilderness is not a place
but a moving feast of the starts,
footprints, scales and beginnings?

Since when
did we become afraid of the night
and that only the bright starts count?
Or that our moon is not a moon
unless it is full?

By who’s command
were the animals
through groping fingers,
one for each hand,
reduced to the big and little five?

Have we forgotten
that every creature is within us
carried by tides
of earthly blood
and that we named them?

Have we forgotten
that wilderness is not a place
but a season
and that we are in its
final hour?

An exquisite poem by Ian McCallum from his anthology Wild Gifts. Ian has a diverse range of skills and talents, among them being a medical doctor, psychologist, psychiatrist, specialist wilderness guide, author and poet, as well as a director of the Wilderness Foundation. His passion for the wilderness and the African continent especially speak compounds through his colourful and inspiring poetry. His gift to put what many of us bush lovers feel into a soft but powerful string of words is a wild rarity. If you’re a lover of words, wilderness, and wildlife, Ian’s other works will not disappoint.

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