Let’s leave everything be.
Let’s just stop fixing.
Perhaps if we let everyone settle
clarity will be revealed.

Today I entered the cathedral of the bush—
sought permission to walk the land; felt it granted.
Was buoyed by a chorus of cicadas ulullating
their adulation to the Gaia of this world.
(On Facebook a slowed down recording of cicadas—
Oh my, what exaltation! Beyond the range of men.)

As I traipse through the bush
in my rag of a dress,
great slobbery dog lopping
at my side, a dishevelled woman
with hands clasped behind her back
like some unhinged Confucian scholar—

a brown snake crosses my path.
It’s an intimate moment, as if
he has been waiting for me.
What does one do in such a moment?
Acknowledge, pass…

Let’s leave everything be.
Let’s just stop fixing.
I want to open like that naked flannel-flower to the sun.

*First published in Bluepepper. My thanks to editor Justin Lowe.


19 thoughts on “Stop

  1. Glad to see another poet who likes great slobbery dogs. There are too many poets who worship cats…

    And nice to see that the poem/narrator can see a snake without all those images of evil popping up!

    Of course, our consciousness stops us opening like flower, but we can try.

  2. I love your painting lush
    rendered by knowing feet
    traipsed through a cathedral of the bush, rich
    with ululating, adulating choir
    reverent, wise and wild:
    Thank you, Michele. xo

  3. “Let’s leave everything be.”

    Exactly, wait, stop, accept, not this mad rush to do. Love the sentiment expressed here.

    “What does one do in such a moment?
    Acknowledge, pass…”

    Beautifully handled. There’s a respect, more a reverence implied here, as it should be.

  4. That’s all the brown was for, some pleasant sun and dry warm earth beneath its belly, along with a little quiet time for a moment or two, as any good traveller or tourist might hope for on meandering day. One simply smiles and says hello, before continuing about the day’s navigation (so many times across the years working in the bush).

  5. I love those deep intimate encounters with other magic forms of life with their own intelligence and wisdom…your words reminded me of those precious moments…thank you…

  6. Let’s leave everything be.
    Let’s just stop fixing.
    Perhaps if we let everyone settle
    clarity will be revealed.

    Michele, I am at a place with my siblings and mom where these words needed to find me. I love how this piece just beckons us to return to the natural world with outjudgement. I also notice how physical and unapologetic your imagery can be–this is manifest throughout your work.

    One interesting reaction I had: I wonder how the poem would change if the snake were a woman. Hmmmm.

    • Hi Michael, I’m so happy, and humbled, that these words resonated with you! And that is such an interesting question about the snake… I met this snake on a ramble in the bush on hearing that my uncle had passed away, and felt that it was somehow connected with him. Poetically I think it might have been more interesting if the snake were a she, and I tinkered with the idea (you are very perceptive!). I don’t usually let reality get in the way of a good poem, but in this case, I just couldn’t change my he into a she! Hmmm….

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