Barbara Gibson

McLane Creek

No need to be afraid
in the dark wood.
Walk near the fox’s den,
the possibility of a coyote,
or toward the beaver’s lodge
sinking into the lily pond.

When you take a single step
into the dense green,
into the comfort of high firs
and the dazzle and pattern
of light among leaves,
there is no need to worry.

You will discover the realm
of dropping yourself,
of losing interest
in the small, failed you.

There is no need
for fear because every fern
and every simple moss
assures you
that you are suitable
for such a life.

The shimmering dragonfly,
stunning and buzzing,
and the red-winged blackbird
skimming over rushes, and each
finch who sits on a sturdy thistle

truly, though you
may not see this,
welcomes you into
the still pond and into
the buzzing meadow
of bright acceptability.

So therefore it is
not necessary to be afraid
once your legs and heart
walk you into the deep,
vivid comfort of just how
here you are.

Barbara Gibson was a counselor at The Evergreen State College, retiring in the late 90’s. She has written poetry all through the years and the changes. She also writes plays, one of which, “The Abolitionist’s Wife: the Saga of Mary Brown” was produced in Olympia this summer to sold-out audiences. Major literary influences include Paul Goodman, Kenneth Rexroth, and Robert Bly, all of whom she was lucky enough to know personally. In Olympia, she is privileged to be a friend of Jeanne Lohmann, who would be Olympia’s Poet Laureate, if we had one. She appreciates the talented and generous poetry community there.


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