AMONG THESE GIANTS
The hidden river rushes through
The redwood forest, veiled, enfolded
In its own echo, babbling as if
A half-remembered beckon, always
Beyond the ambling path, remaining
Elusive like those moments
That have anchored root and limb,
Though only to fade and change and
Cascade, all in their due course.
Along the trail, the coastal redwoods
Above us, towering and ancient,
My mother recollects her days as
A camper at Mt. Hermon,
When she was five-years old and
Escaping from her parents’ divorce
And the neuroses of a home,
Where she discovered peace
Amongst the old-growth grove, with
Her Aunt Eileen and Eileen Margaret,
Her cousin, carving out a respite
From sandstone, mist, and timber.
And after hiking down those
Pacific slopes, pine scent, warm sun,
And chilling shadows urging at
The edge of recognition,
We found the thin ribbon of river,
More modest than it sounded
Among these giants, mirroring
The mountain’s namesake, sacred
And occupied, a place between.
We crossed and became cultivated,
Like this forest by the ocean fog,
Awaiting bitter winter winds.
Daniel’s poetry engages with the significance of place and the environment, the intersection of visual art and verse, the consequences of individual and communal trauma, and the value of empathic ways of seeing others. He has published essays on poets such as W.H. Auden, Derek Walcott, and Seamus Heaney in Paideuma, Anthurium, and ANQ. He also teaches at Baylor University, where he helps students write lucid, elegant prose and understand literature, film, and visual art.