Carnal Creatures - Lessons Learned At Paynes Prairie

Carnal Creatures

Dear Reader,

This poem was pieced together from phrases frantically tapped on my phone screen as I sat on a bench in Paynes Prairie in Gainesville, FL. The magic of the Prairie, of the lessons it taught me, and of the parallels illuminated between wild animals and humankind is hard to capture in writing, but I was happy to do my best. May these words resonate with you…


Today I watched…

Webbed feet,

move silently,

each step undetected.

Pointed beaks bob,

manufactured to

skewer flesh.

Lifeless fish

swim once again

into the darkness

of unfamiliar bodies.

Today I felt…

The earth move beneath me,

as I danced for a child

moving out of a

familiar body, and

into the light of the wild world.

Today I heard…

Calls that sounded

like longing…

the kind of longing

I cage deep within my body,

to unleash only in

shame and

solitude.

But these calls were not caged,

they were unapologetic,

carnal,

and honest.

Today I read…

Words etched into

the wood of man-made structures,

as a snake lay unmoving,

snared in a tangle of branches,

and dragonflies glided

through wildflowers.

Today I was reminded…

Of the carnal creature

that lives within

all human bodies.

Of the marriage of

life and death.

Of the cages

we must break,

to sing our wild songs,

cry our deepest desires,

and live our most authentic truths.

Today I learned lessons,

That only nature can teach.


For today folks, that is all. I am happily camped out in Dallas, TX, a total surprise, happy to reminisce on my beautiful Floridian adventures, and also totally content to be exactly where I am.


Wandering is a beautiful lifestyle, full of unexpected and beautiful surprises at every turn, it reminds me constantly to stay open to the every type of lesson. May you stay open to all the lessons the world has waiting for you!

With love,

Annalise