In the summer, among the rain and sun,
I spent a week in the forest, with the trees,
the dewy moss, and the damp leaves,
among the thickets and the glen,
along the meadow and wondering when,
I’d return home from a day with my pad,
and pen, a small tray of paints, a single brush,

I’d venture out in the morning light,
the fog thick and the air cool,
the world silent and the sun still low,
I’d walk through the shadowed forest,
the dense woods wrapped in a haunting still-
ness, the simple symphony missing in the northern air,
and it was there I’d find a log along the river,
under a tree,
I’d set out the supplies, and sit and wait,

And here the day begins,
the sketching and the sound of graphite,
scraping on paper, the smell of cedar,
as the pencil is sharpened, its shavings
falling to the forest floor, the bits of tree,
finally returning home.

Until later when the light is right,
and the whole world glowing,
with the yellow light, the water glistening,
the leaves basking in the golden hour,
and I lay out the paints and brush,
set the canvas board in my lap,
trying a failing to capture the majesty,
of my environs,
my hands slowly covered in different colors,
for the canvas is my church and I pray with paint,
alone in the wilderness, alone,

In the northern air.

Matthew Donnellon is a writer, artist, and sit down comedian. He is the author of The Curious Case of Emma Lee and Other Stories.

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