08: Indigenous Creators - Aug 2021

Hidden Etches In The Bark

Passing cars acknowledge our 
plight as we dwell heavily on the 
Roadside jagged rocks. My hand  
Pounds on my chest to 

Free the air trapped inside. The 
Atmosphere settles as 
Streaks of chocolate and ebony 
Flitter past, riding gusty rivers of wind. 

These very streams push inside me, awakening 
A youthlike vigor or perhaps a riveting buoyancy. 
A small tree resides on the 
Crest, pockets of bark hollowed out to

Resemble swiss cheese. A sleek streak of 
Red and black swivels around the central
Cylinder. Bark falls away in
Patches and hits the earth below. The streak 

Catches a ride in a nearby spring, 
Turbulently journeying to its next 
Architectural undertaking. My soft palm
Inspects his creation. Sharp splinters leave 

Behind a plethora of pinpricks. Such poor 
Handiwork. My littlest finger discovers its 
Reflection in the wood. The spiral whorls
Replaced by hidden etches in the bark. 

Concealed by rough skin and 
Guarded by sharp needles  
Hidden messages emerge as 
Secret conversations 

A new streak docks at the 
Freckled bark and indulges in the 
Etchings left behind, lengthening the 
Scripture for the next. The sturdy bark 

Holds dozens of concealed exchanges amid
Separated lovers, beloved friends, distant family 
The characters swirl around the bark, in an 
Endless flow of anger, love, and sadness.  
I was wrong—this is a masterpiece. 

- Jasmine Herri 

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