A poem to reflect on the season from the winner of the 2014 Homebound Publications Poetry Prize The Uncallused Hand by Walker Abel.








A man finished his dinner.
He left three bottles of wine on table.
Now the waiters and waitresses
are drinking them, laughing and carrying on.
It’s a party at end of day.

Sometimes it’s easy to see
that server and served bless each other.
Creek to ocean to rain to creek again
benevolence bows to benevolence.

Everyday, with a platter of dawn and dusk
the earth feeds us.
Be generous with the wine you leave.
Let a field of rain fall on the table.
By uncorking the luster interior to us
something pours into hollow places we cannot see
and the earth’s party link arms
to tumble outward onto the streets.



Walker Abel_smAbout the Author: Walker Abel lives in a remote home in the Yolla Bolly Mountains of northern California. As an undergraduate at University of California, Santa Cruz, in the mid-70’s, he participated in an environmental studies field program called Sierra Institute. Twelve years later, after completing a graduate program with ecopsychology pioneer Robert Greenway, he came back to teach for Sierra Institute, which he has done now for 26 years, while also taking on the role of director since 2003. Most of his poetry has been written in field journals while out on these academic programs, which are 9 weeks long and are entirely taught during a series of backpacking trips. It has not been unusual for Walker to teach three programs a year, amounting to a total of up to 6 months in the backcountry. One of his greatest joys is watching each new group of students open over time to the transformative influence of wilderness immersion. Walker has a 33 year old son (Stuart), who is also an ecopsychologist, backpacker, and nature-connection educator.




The Uncallused Hand 

Poems by Walker Abel

Winner of the 2014 Homebound Publications Poetry Prize!

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About the Book: This is poetry kindled by weeks in wilderness. Its muse is nature, which encompasses both the wild beauty of earth and the mystery of self and its sometimes erotic, sometimes mystical, relationship with the other. The poems are lyrical, tonal, evocative–enamored in a sensual way of being, but also drawn at times toward the counterpart of non-being. The palpable world of natural detail is brought forth, yet the poems also echo with nuance, innuendo, archetype, and both meditative as well as enraptured levels of realization.