First Night in the Forest

I wonder if the forest
remembers me,
my wandering thoughts,
the feel of our first touch.
Absorbed with stories of
roots, peat, bedrock. Water,
her own reminder of
perpetual change. A place
for peaceful self-awareness,
viscous renewal.
I can never sleep, my first
night in the forest, soaking
up visions as they fade, floating
mind slipping from the source
of the spring, ascending
spruce, grounding in
red-tipped lichen.
Each night after, the forest
seeps deeper into
open wounds, breathing joins
trees and the beasts’ breath
upon breath, building
the ideas of owls,
sensing soil’s slow
steady rumble, layers as
painting, noise into birdsong.
We vanish together,
of difference or memory.

Poem by Brandon Earl MacLeod

Brandon Earl MacLeod is a poet, educator, and father from Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada. He now calls Thunder Bay and North Spirit Lake, Ontario home. His work considers the worlds around and within us, connecting visuals and ideas with the written word. Some of Brandon’s poetry and images can be found at