Walking between giants (with poetry reading)

(A reading of this poem has been beautifully rendered by Abigail Baker and can be heard here.)

Walking between giants

Photo copyright © Quirina Roode-Gutzmer 2012.

The wind above whirs through the firs,
while down below, white little flowers—
from wood sorrel,
their pink-veined petals—
on delicate stems,
quiver, …
to the sound of a nearby river.

Bare feet walk on soft brown,
needled forest paths.
But oh! Not on baby beech trees,
from the ground emerging
like butterflies
with green rubber wings.

Bare feet walk over curving tree roots,
covered in earthy moss—
emerald velvet carpet.

Walking between giants,
proud and noble,
reaching, straight, into the sky—
beech trees of a hundred years.
Around their roots are heaps
made by ants,
who scurry over crisp oak leaves,
from autumn last.
With eyes closed,
they sound as loud as the trees are tall.

Bare feet walk not on ants.
Ants walk over bare feet.
One ant stands on two of his six feet,
assuming a warrior pose,
protecting his castle, his kin.
Behind him towers another castle
built in medieval times,
by men,
and partially ruined,
and partially rebuilt,
by men.
It was catapulted,
due to a dispute between two men,
who both wanted the same princess.

Bare feet brave the stinging of ants,
and walk on,
on soft forest carpet,
to the edge of the forest,
where white butterflies—
their wings like cherry blossoms,
flutter free in the grass green meadow,
adorned with dandelion gold.
The cherry trees are white clouds
held by branches,
that shine bronze in the sun.

Bare feet walk on,
on soft forest carpet,
deep into the forest,
where, by the granite rocks,
lay large white feathers.
Of what creature that may be?
Please let it not be an angel …
And if it was,
may it have stilled
the perpetual hunger of a lone soul,
and may it all not be in vain.

Bare feet walk on soft forest paths.
The wind above whirs through firs,
while down below,
white little flowers,
on delicate stems,
quiver, …
to the sound of a nearby river.

Copyright © Quirina Roode-Gutzmer 2012.
All rights reserved.

In memoriam: Rudolph Eduard Roode (21 August 1937 ‑ 3 May 2006).
Today, in my mind, I walk with my father, bare feet on soft forest paths. He is a giant, standing, proud and noble.

“Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength.” —Sitting Bull


17 thoughts on “Walking between giants (with poetry reading)

  1. LOVE this, Quirina! So atmospheric.
    I especially enjoyed this:
    “Bare feet walk not on ants.
    Ants walk over bare feet.”
    Well, really, I enjoyed the whole thing. 🙂

    • As I wrote those lines, I knew that you would like them if you were to read them. Thank you so much for your lovely comment, Chris. 🙂

  2. Really great writing here. Love the imagery, and the bare foot walking – just that little closer to nature.

    Bare feet walk on soft forest paths.
    The wind above whirs through firs, – some of my favourite lines, but the whole poem is just full of excellent ones.

    • He was not physically a giant, as you know, but that he stood for things that are important to me. And that the small things are as big (and in your words, sometimes even bigger) than the big things. I couldn’t agree with you more. Thank you, Peter. x

  3. I wish to whisper in your ear – blessings, lovely rounded words – and see your eyebrow raise a tiny bit and behind your eyes your mind mulling a certainty . . . your heart has unburdened a treasure and laid it on the page.



  4. What a great hommage this is. And a wonderful story-telling poem that speaks of your deep love for nature. It makes me want to walk barefoot over a meadow (bewaring of fir needles!). Of course, the second last stanza touched me the most : )
    angle = angel ?

    • My dear eagle-eyed, four-leafed clover spotter, Martin. Indeed it is angel. I often make this mistake. I can’t spell fascinating, delicious and angel. The first two get picked up by the spell checker, but since angle is a valid word it slips through the divine cracks and angels become angles, but I do love them both, almost equally. I’m glad that you could walk into the poem, into nature …

      • : )
        I just wanted to be sure because there might be unknown meanings in familiar words.

  5. This is such a beautiful poem. It truly speaks of the love you have for your father.
    It is after all is said and done the smallest of things that sometimes move mountains.

    I loved it 🙂

    • Thank you so much, Abigail, for your lovely comment. It is also a great honour for me that you should have chosen this poem of mine to read with such a steady gentle voice. Thank you. Your reading is now part of this blog post. 🙂

  6. A lovely tribute to your father who obviously left you a fine legacy of love and strength. Your deep appreciation of nature is also felt…the delicate strength of your words here. A truly beautiful piece of poetry, by a fine poet. I love it!

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