Saturday, February 21, 2015

This Nest

This nest is a shadow slipping away from itself into the body of the world.
This nest is the back of a pirate’s head, stern and foolish in its seadrenched tousle of cloth.
This nest is the wing of a raptor, tipped with sky and the shouts of smaller creatures on the forest floor below.
This nest is the punctuation of weather.
This nest is a whirlwind, mute but full of consequence.
This nest is an acclamation, a bow to the magic of work in the night.
This nest is a cave, silent until you go deep enough to hear the sound of waterfalls.
This nest is a knot in the archetypal tree of life, puzzled by its own antiquity and size.
This nest is the way a well looks suspended in air and soft with the deficit of shallow mud.
This nest is a big velvet curtain with a heavy tasseled cord to make it move.
This nest is a wooden barrel waiting for the warm rain of April.
This nest is the head of a bear, asleep in a place no one knows to look for.
This nest has the bold but fragile determination of wax across the lip of an envelope, waiting to be disturbed and even broken.
This nest is a witness to the work of dry days in midwinter.
This nest is the shift of a clenched fist into an outstretched palm, offered sideways as a salutation and a nod.
This nest wants to be a bonfire but settles for claiming the bodies of fierce and dangerous creatures who carry the sting of flame.
This nest is a saint, a relic of patience.
This nest is the cousin of the mountaintop it frames against the silver winter sky.
This nest is some kind of promise, a paradox of stillness hoarding strength.
This nest is a cloud heavy with repentance and ready to shed its burdens into the waiting boughs of leafless trees in Lent.
This nest has a language made of scents and shapes, of the flavors of treebark and basil, of the song that the eaves sing in high winds.
This nest knows things about the land that no one else does. It might be waiting for the question that will make it hum like a harp or a banjo.
This nest is the cape of a journeying hero, ragged from the clutch of foreign caverns.
This nest is a sheet of lightning, waiting for the chance to be a fork.
This nest is a boulder stuck in the cleft of a rushing river, eager to make friends with stranded paddlers.
This nest is the head of a giant, used to the way things look in thinning air.
This nest claims its own sovereignty but still does what the stormwinds say it should.
This nest knows the syllables of three seasons and hopes to learn the language of the fourth.
This nest is not a compromise or a loss. It lives with being torn apart and shredded. A little bit of its sleeping heart will hang around like a hologram in the space above the forest when it falls, even if the textures of its walls have long since crumbled. Its brokenness is part of the horizon’s memory palace forever, one of those subtle claims that nature has on time, a bookmark inserted in between the pages of an empty wordless book shaped like a circle.
©Laura Sorrells 2015
all rights reserved


  1. You have furnished an admirable and comprehensive catalog of the symbolism of nests and I am gratefully improved by it. I am reminded of old Russian and Swedish accounts of clay eggs left in tombs as practical emblems of immortality. In my Egyptian lexicon, hieroglyphs --literally sacred carvings-- eggs represent pure potentiality, and the nest is everything you say it is. As with the Indians and Druids, this planet is our nest and the egg is the vault of space, the heavens. The processes and aspects of your nest are universal, cosmological and just darn fun to read. My compliments and admiration.

    1. Thank you, Geo. It's been so long since I really wrote anything substantive at all that I wasn't sure about this. I love your allusion to the clay eggs. Your comment on my poem is a poem in itself, I think. I so appreciate your encouragement.

  2. Hornet nests are so incredible but woe to one who explores it while occupied

    1. Indeed. I don't plan on it. I saw the hornets flying around and crawling on the nest before winter came, and surprisingly, they never bothered me or a friend who helped me with some work on my property last September. They are the big hornets of Asian origin and quite intimidating to see. One flew into my downstairs library/living area and died on the woodstove hearth. It was gigantic. I have a healthy respect for them. I guess I kind of want the nest to be gone by spring....

  3. This nest is a muse & a snapshot into your beautiful poetheart. A wonderful, enlightening write, Laura. Thank you for sharing. xo

  4. Thank you kindly, Marion. I am so glad you enjoyed this.


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About Me

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Georgia, United States
I live at the edge of the forest in a little town in the north Georgia mountains. I teach sixth grade Language Arts and am writing a memoir of sorts about family, spirituality, and narrative. I am also exploring a possible writing project having to do with contemporary lay contemplative experience and how it might be informed by the Desert Fathers and Mothers of early Christianity. I am a relatively recent convert to Roman Catholicism and an admirer of Pope Francis, Leonardo Boff, Joan Chittister, and Richard Rohr. I'm a Lay Associate of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Monastery in Conyers, Georgia. I am interested in indigenous cultures, narratives, and spirituality, especially how these can inform my spirituality as a lay contemplative. I write, read, take pictures, play around with creating ephemera from paper and cloth and other organic things. I cook, hike, watch wildlife, and collect random bits of interesting oddness, both tangible and abstract. I am a seer of smallness and a caretaker of ridiculous minutiae. If you want, e-mail me at or