when we heard the birdsong coming down
through the forest just the way, they say
it once had been—except the glass museum
plunk in the former woods—
but you forget, don’t you, tracing brushstrokes
the bull’s eye, prehistory of color painstaking
recreation, pixel by pixel
and thank god we can breathe and crowd
more people than ever walked these woods
or learned to paint ritual creatures
(or dreams or hunt or we don’t really know)
without destroying the dawn of art—
only what’s left of the forest—
and isn’t it glorious, how dark
and atmospheric light and shade play
in this cave?
Ruminating on this article about France’s latest replication of the Lascaux cave paintings…
In your dream you slept
by the riverbank
and not out of spite
I changed your love
into a flower, simple
bluebell in the forest
swaying daisy in the meadow—
one of a million light-sung flowers
in the hundred greendeep forests
in the thousand sunflood meadows
and how will you find love now
and what if love remained
Begin with water. Make this stream
millennia of dreams wearing down stone,
the riverbed bones of unwanted silence.
Drown in dread thought, your silence
cast whole in cold-gliding stream,
promise-gleam dulled and dropped like stone.
Sink unbreathing, blind; claw out muddy stone
unknown to hand or mouth. Break its silence.
Spark diamond flood in dark forest, a stream
unseen, a stream strong to carry stone and silence.
A tritina for the Yeah Write December poetry slam.
from rigors of nesting, these dry
dusting feathers drifting down
through the night-trees—
Have I changed? Can you see it
as ugly duckling flared to phoenix?
Or what tale can describe that
freeing flight earth-up, sky-down
through forests reclaiming all
the bones of empire?
wings spread and settle, fledgling
soul curled small, moss-soft
beneath the fallen log (discarded
feathers caught in the grain);
practiced eye of greenway wanderer
will see it’s forever new
For Meg, the greenway wanderer at Pigspittle, Ohio, who shared her beautiful photo of Feathers on a Log and pointed me to this article on molting.
I am the child of root and air, the song
of limpid river, tumbled rocks;
my father feathered black, my mother brown
and pocket-faded, full of words.
I sing and shape the stumbles into spells
of love for Crone to honey-fill her jars,
for Wizard’s far-fetched flings at sun and moon.
Inspired by A Prompt Each Day’s midweek wordle, which sent me back to my Hiraeth-world.
These years I have burnished
silver, shelved desire
as a thing to sip and sniff
parceled out love as if
the supply might dry up—
What use? Tonight, dozing
fireside, if snow-wind brings
blackbird note, I’ll swallow whole
a drop of hot sun enough
to build and howl and spill
and light my way
to riverside where summer
bridge glints gossamer
humming like bees—
only a step into the forest
fleet-foot past crone’s hut
to rain-hung green-washed glade
where he waits, my blackbird boy
to take me to his breast
Time has not passed for me
in years or even seasons, moonrise
or sunset, river flood or ice-sharp howl
To wait as I have is only suspension
of wing-beat, heartsong—in my dreams
I walk the earth but my voice is gone
Wizard still strings his words in dullness
Crone sits staring, opens blue jar and sniffs
My girl will come back—To have her back!
But I’ve seen her across unbridged river
settled for what humans call love, forgetting
bright belief like autumn’s rotted leaves
Winter land gray, hawk-still, slow
river under ice-shroud; with the moon
fair I far-see: Autumn spells won’t hold
her, not for all the heartsease in the world.
I dream of her hair-shorn, light and dancing
at forest verge, spinning rope of spring-buds,
rain-troth. I string out these shriveled words,
sup on desire, waiting. My girl will come back.
My heart falls and falls. She smiles
like a flower under glass, fading
far from native earth and sun and sky
I give her home, children, garden, love
but longing follows her like a shadow
wakes me in the night to see her walking
at the forest’s edge, staring hard across
moon-bright water, listening—for what?
—fingers open, reaching, empty.
I had a prentice, once. She came across
the river, bright belief like starshine, sharp.
I taught her names; to listen, still; how words
quick-hum inside the oak, how they can build
and howl like lightning splits the sky, and spill.
We strung them fine on heart-string rope to make
a blackbird song.
She’s gone. To have her back!
but autumn spells and heartsease hold her now.
A little blank verse for the Yeah Write May poetry slam.