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The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Poem: "Campgrounding"

This poem came from the March 5, 2013 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by prompts from janetmiles and wyld_dandelyon.  It has been sponsored by the_vulture.  It belongs to the series Path of the Paladins.


Ari never ceases to marvel
at the simple magic of it,
the way Shahana can pick up rocks
and put them down in a ring --

and just like that,
there's a campground,
a hearth, a home
for the night.

A circle of grass trampled flat
becomes walls and a floor,
their blankets unroll into beds,
and their roof is the black slate of the sky
flecked with silver mica stars.

It is something more than a ritual,
something less than a spell.
It is a precise progression of steps
laid out in the canticles;
it is a feeling drawn out of the heart
and spread like a rug before the hearth,
dear far memory of home.

When Shahana places her hand on the ground
in front the circle of stones around the firepit,
it is as if she reaches through the earth
to touch the very heart of it.

Ari follows her,
follows the steps,
works her way through
the same patient progression.

She does not care how long it takes:
she is determined to learn the skill of campgrounding.

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Current Mood: busy busy

4 comments or Leave a comment
pickledginger From: pickledginger Date: March 10th, 2013 02:23 am (UTC) (Link)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: March 10th, 2013 02:24 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

I'm glad you like this.
From: pinkrangerv Date: April 17th, 2015 12:08 am (UTC) (Link)
I LOVE CAMPGROUNDING, it's all the home magics that modern society doesn't support as much. Building a homeplace and making it yours, and then leaving respectfully. And it's wonderful to have a space that's truly, honestly mine.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: April 17th, 2015 01:12 am (UTC) (Link)


It's basically the portable version of hearthwitching. I mean really, what else are two peasant girls going to do? :D

By the way, there's a Creative Jam coming up on April 18-19, with a theme of "impossible," if you want to request more of this series.
4 comments or Leave a comment