Balsam Cap Epiphany

Balsam Cap Epiphany

A Poem by VennelaMargame

Another poem inspired by a hike.


As though it were a slimy rain

That afternoon, the orange flesh

Of sky was dripping pulpy sweat.


Or, rather, say the balsam trees

Were shaking off the scales of sleep

Onto the winter’s slushy dregs.


To breathe in air more wood than air,

To walk upon the snoring chest

Of senescent, bearded forests,


Just as the springtime snorts awake,

Requires a will to walk through March

As through the halls of catholic shame.


When days are drenched in citrus-cream,

And sour sunlight turns the milk

Of winter, all the world will buzz


In wasp-like tingles of tradition.

No other countenance would dare

Accuse like spring’s dogmatic stare.

© 2017 VennelaMargame

Author's Note

Balsam Cap is a mountain in the Catskills. It has no trail to its summit, and the coniferous forests on its upper slopes are notoriously thick. I happened to be hiking on a warm day in late March, where slushy chunks of ice were falling from the trees and knocking me on the head, while being scratched to shreds by those same trees, all on a bright-orange, late winter afternoon. It was an oddly enclosing atmosphere which inspired this.

Note, the thumbnail picture was taken during that hike.

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Featured Review

You managed to capture the scenery, and experience quite well in this, your word choice added to the dynamic atmosphere, if I was going to points something out, and that's only because my eye tends to catch such things, is the double 'to' 'to' within two lines, and the four uses of 'O' beginning verses, or stanzas, (this could be intentional). There are many better versed then me when it comes to poetry. Thanks for the read.

Posted 6 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


Excellent and quality writing. The spring is alive - a beast - but a familiar beast, if still grumpy after just awakening from hibernation. Word choice and images are deep, somber and yet they shed light. Loved the line "In wasp-like tingles of tradition".

Posted 7 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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I can imagine you walking in the rain, lovely poem very uplifting

Posted 7 Years Ago


7 Years Ago

Thank you, sir. The hills have that effect on me.

7 Years Ago

Great there's nothing like it I agree
This is as good a poem as I`ve read on here. Wordsworth would be proud. Throughout the piece sharp, pungent phrasing makes this piece stand out. The insistent drip of Spring`s new beginnnings soaks this poem, floating it straight into my library. I love it. P.

Posted 7 Years Ago


7 Years Ago

The idea for this came to me suddenly, when I had a recollection of this walk in the woods that I to.. read more
I am not much of a poem critic. So I don't know that my opinion will be helpful but hopefully it inspires people to continue writing poetry. I think your poem was beautiful and very well written.

Posted 7 Years Ago


7 Years Ago

Thank you.
The slower I read this the more pronounced the vibrato of my joy. "To breathe in air more wood than air" - this line transported me to a familiar place, and the line is a powerful spell. Lots of lines are, in this one. I am in love.

(One thing I do not understand is Catholic, with capital "C". I would understand the little 'c' catholic better, because it relates to all or varying habitats, but the capital "C" gives me the religion, and confused ... )

Posted 7 Years Ago


7 Years Ago

Yes, that's a good point. Fixed her.

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15 Reviews
Shelved in 3 Libraries
Added on February 26, 2013
Last Updated on April 23, 2017
Tags: Hiking nature outdoors Catskills




I want to apologize to any friends on here for how long I've been delinquent. I need to get back on here, clear my backlog of read requests and get writing again. Best wishes all. more..


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