Follow Me On
The Woman in White Marble

{Click Marble or visit Books in the main menu}

« Samhain Curiosities | Main | There is More than One Diaspora »

A Carver Through Some Old Woods Walked

A carver through some old woods walked
On soundless soggy paths in splintered light,
Sank his heels before the hut.

“You stand here seeking,” Wild One said,
The crackle of her voice, harvest of the hanging limbs,
Through the forest broke and spread.
“Place your offering in the bottom
Through the iron cauldron rings.
There we’ll cook it, greet your dread.”

He placed the parcel, and she filled the pot
High with brackish water
Dyed with leaf mold filtered through the fallen logs,
Lit the fire, then arched one eye
And spoke: “Now, your questions, reach and try.”

Your wisdom draws the night sky in
On whispered promises of sleep
More gripping than forest wolves:
What is loneliness at night?

She pulled her rough skirt hard between her thighs
And squatted by the deerskin square.

“A Caravan of Jugglers
Tossing bits of fractured life,
Rocks and ribbons, plastic balls,
In high flung circles, intricate and tight,
Out from which the whistling goddess falls:
Her scratchy road of sound an endless pall
For divers shrieking riding on their eight legged thralls.
Is that enough?  Or do you want
To know yet more?”

Your wisdom holds the mountains up,
Older than their roots, before the autumn beech nuts form,
More searing than the harshest truth:
What is the name of doom before it falls?

She harshly wrapped the rough skirt round her waist
And sat her buttocks on the deerskin square.

“Litany of Monotony,
Hymn of Pleasure as the Hungry Children Yearn,
Irretrievability of Imbalance,
Power of Dismemberment Unearned,
Watching WhileYour Own Limbs Burn
While Quick Your Blood Flows to the Floor:
A Gored Tree Dying where the Pews are Stored.
Is that enough?  Or do you want
To know yet more?”

Your wisdom calls the clouds
And makes the rain descend on deserts
Harsher than rocks scorching bald flesh:
Who are those who bring hope?

She pulled the deerskin square
Tight between her thighs and slid to dirt.

“Those who dare to name the doom before you,
Where dancers on the edge of panic go
Laughing when the risk is great,
Whose very breath is ecstasy in flow,
Whose wise wild thoughts erotic phantoms make.
They craft with dragonflies a path towards hearts that break
While listening to the bleak, deep mirrors of the lake--
They, the Bridgewrights of the Rainbow Ways,
Craft edge to edge the traffic of unbounded love.
They stand and sing to plunging cliffs below,
Where layered pasts are stacked, and studied,
Then often twice born farmed, to then be harvest whole:
Some will always eat their layers of remembered hurt for lunch
And cling with ripped fingernails to their separate ledge,
But others—hear this—float new currents towards the light,
Outpace old falling boulders screaming downward from the edge,
For from the palms of singers outward flows the living stream,
And songs of singers move the air to set their sailing free.
Would you know more?

“Now,” she said, “the water boils and glows.
You must reach deep for what you seek to know.”

He plunged his hand in, stirred and searched,
But ah the gifting bundle now was gone.
His hand came out unscathed and clean.

She pulled the deerskin square
Into her teeth, and then began to suck and sing.

Then the willows hummed beside the stream,
The birds spoke freely of the gods who dream,
The ancient Wild One into grey mist leaned,
And Carver stood alone whereon the wet earth gleamed.

May 30, 2012

Copyright © 2012 James Lower

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>