2020 Wilderness Poetry Contest Winners: The Summons by Tamara Saimons

The Summons

By Tamara Saimons

When the wild summons

murmurs its heavy magic through skin, heart and spine

however the spell wafts in you, however you hear it,

you ramble out for the revelry of trails, of remote terrain

and remember how to return

primitive as you already are

to be the fierce pulse for river,

schist or sandstone

for ice

for the tiniest silvery glint of gills in a drying streambed.

It’s possible to be reclaimed whole

in this way, to when your marrow rooted

rapt with the unfettered reverie of trees

and sang hymns to the vast elixir of stars.

Even shorn from your true skin and obscured

for this long

you are still caught prey to the flit of feathered sunlight or chirp

that reels you in

you still do stop in mid-step with head cocked upward

ear or eye swept by the ordinary lift

of cliff swallows in the river canyon.

Imperiled and complicit, we stifle the summons

but its fervent wish for the incantation

of clicks, howls, warbles and shrieks

to be heard

burns and breaches to be seen.

Not in any sphere of this life are you excused from this behest

Summoned as you are to wild from birth

More about Tamara Saimons:

Tam is a family nurse practitioner in Albuquerque, putterer, pizzaiola, and gardener. They live with their wife Kathryn, 3 dogs and 2 cats in the north valley and are devoted to the support, recognition and love of the wild.  

Tamara Saimons
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