A guest in spring

“But the beauty is in the walking — we are betrayed by destinations.”
― Gwyn Thomas

The path I follow feels unfamiliar, but there is strange reassurance in being a little bit lost. It make my senses keener, as I watch how patches of sunlight penetrates through canopies above to the forest floor where white carpets of forest anemones invite me to go further. In a thicket I hear the rustle of birds busy doing what birds do in spring and I marvel how fresh the air is. Though I can hear a faint hum from a highway far away, I feel like a guest of nature, alone but not alone; I try to put my soles down as gently as I can on the soft ground and let my breathing almost cease. I reach out to caress the trunk of an old pine tree.

I think I feel a heart beating inside the old tree, and I imagine rejuvenating sap flooding beneath my fingertips. Suddenly a wind blows through the wood and I imagine a voice whispering: “Wanderer and poet, please remember us when you have reached the comfort of your home, remember how we fill you lungs, how your ink, your words and poems need the trees, we are part of your creation, and you need us more than we need you”

With jerk, as if waked from dreams I recognize the place, the path, and I know that it’s time to leave. I was just a guest, and home is near. But I bless my luck of being slightly lost while walking as a guest through woods in spring.

smiling anemones —
weighted by their paleness
make no excuses


Today it’s me who host Haibun Monday at dVerse and the subject is simply walking. If you can just add an experience or a thought about walking and what it does to you. Come and join us at 3PM EST.

32 responses to “A guest in spring

  1. There is certainly a slight reassurance in being lost, isn’t there? That line set the tone for all of what came afterwards. The haiku is simply lovely! I will have to walk in the morning and let the prompt get under my skin.

  2. Nice how we take your walk with you- the warmth of sun through the trees, the sounds of traffic,your oneness with nature until you remember you are a guest. I’m glad I read this , this morning with my coffee.

  3. Incredibly prose my friend. I feel and understand this message. Walking in sensing the suns warmth does have a spark of inspiration of us as man and becoming lost with nature herself. 🙂

    Excellent writing my friend. 🙂

  4. I just got lost in those woods with you, though also alone. I grasp that concept of being a guest of nature and so glad, as poets, we are able to remember our hosts. Lovely haibun and prompt.

  5. I’m loving the slight hallucinatory feel of this piece. During your sojourn in the forest you seem to have crossed from the ordinary plain of existence into a heightened dream-state — but as the highway hums somewhere just behind the trees, the reader is reminded of the uneasy way nature and civilization overlap; bleeding one into the other. It gives this quiet, meditative work an undercurrent of discord. The woods’ “voice” and its message to the speaker gain urgency from this unspoken conflict.

    And the haiku at the end is beautiful. A quiet solemn reminder of a promise that must be kept

  6. Oh I love this. The heartbeat of the trees, the siren anemone – being lost with you in this almost dream walk. And yes, the reminder that anytime we enter nature, we are a guest there. The haiku is so much a part of the mystery of this walk – they simple are. No excuses. As it should be.

  7. I was an observer through your words until you wrote: “I hear the rustle of birds busy doing what birds do in spring and I marvel how fresh the air is.” Right within those words, I became a guest of the nature you described.

  8. I admire the conversation with the tree specially the second stanza ~ If we can take the words to heart and remember that we are only guests in this land ~ Lovely haiku and prose Bjorn ~

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  10. I wish more guests in nature would behave civilly to their host/ess! I love the line where the tree reminds that we need them more than they do us. In fact, nature has no need of humanity whatsoever, getting on better without our interference and mindless thrashing of it.

  11. Those lines about the tree speaking to the poet I found really profound, mainly because it is all so true. We are so inextricably bound together. A great scene you paint here, Bjorn.

  12. What a beautiful word-painting of what it is to be “lost” in nature – to be found in nature. Basho might well approve.

  13. How we all love that reassurance in being a little lost, in the lap of Nature! A beautiful Haibun & thanks Bjorn, for this lovely prompt.

  14. You are such a positive, optimistic walker, Bjorn! You are happy to wander, always certain of finding the way back to spring.

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  16. Beautiful piece, Bjorn. Ah, nature… where words and emotions meet. Truly we owe these all to the trees, the birds, and the wind. Blesses guests, we are. 🙂

  17. “there is strange reassurance in being a little bit lost”

    So much love for this. YES. And the heartbeat of trees. I feel it, too.

  18. bless my luck of being slightly lost while
    walking as a guest through woods in spring.

    Sometimes one needs to be led astray in unfamiliar surroundings where space is available to discover more!


  19. So many ideas in your haibun are similar to mine. I can def relate to the feeling of being a visitor in the natural world. We are so privileged to be a witness to the beauty of it all.

  20. Lovely to accompany you on your walk, connect to the trees and admire the anemones.

  21. Lovely! I looked into the origin of the word “anemones” and found that it is from the Greek anemōnē meaning “daughter of the wind”. A perfect flower to adore this haibun. As for my thoughts on walking, Mary Oliver said best and, really, I can’t think of a thing to add: “Every day I walk out into the world / to be dazzled, then to be reflective.”

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