The Panting Man’s Guide to the Sighing Forest by Anoushka Panda

tree forest guy man person nature

When you will enter the forest,

When you will cause the first brittle rock to crunch underneath you,

You will want to do–

Unsettling things.

Do not shy away, embrace this feeling

And wrap it whole.

You will want to rush into the trunks

And crush caterpillar-nibbled leaves into your ears

And rub the running mud all around your neck,

Let your fingers ride a musical merry-go-round.

There will be times you will want to bite the sky

And there will be times you will want to tug on the legs of the swimmer,

Down the swollen river.

Then, you will want to construct a house,

Under your nail, yes your mountain-like nail and your plateau-like nail.

For the bug that had been on your cotton shoulder

Since the first drop of water immersed your blemish.

You will also want to barrel roll upon the wind-struck weeds

And bury your face in the gurgling glory of the sprouting flowers.

Whisper the wondrous words you would never scream,

Onto the polished pebble’s pride.

And then?

Oh then,

You will never want to leave.


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