Traveling with Tree Walkers – Through a Photograph, Into a Poem

Reflection in Sugar River

Tree Walkers © 2010 Bo Mackison

There is a photograph tacked upon my wall.
A photograph of the Sugar River.

If, by magical means, you could reach your hands through the print,
you could dip your hands in cool, running river-water, cold from autumn’s breath.

Then you’d pull your hands from the river through the frame, and be back in my room,
shaking droplets from your fingers, wiping dampness on your jeans.

I look at the photograph through creator’s eyes.
The reflection of two trees in the foreground, their trunks slender, their upside down branches split,
and I name them Tree Walkers.

Slipping through the photo paper, I stride along the river’s circuitous route
Tree Walkers at my side, my companions.

All is never what it seems and
what I need shows up in odd, inexplicable ways.

Today I have no need of clean hands, but I do need to travel with Tree Walkers.

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. Enjoy the excursion with the Tree Walkers. It sounds soothing and adventerous.

  2. Fascinating. I’ve walked with Tree Walkers but didn’t realize it. Absolutely fascinating.

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