Mythic March Part Two…

…Which should probably be called Alchemical April or something like that, as it is no longer March!  Still feels like it though, still very cold outside with a chilly winter wind that has teeth in it.  Warmer weather is on its way though, and the daffodils are flowering, and in other news I finally finished (I think) my poem ‘Once’ – the first draft was posted in Mythic March Part One, but I’ve done quite a bit of work on it since then and am reasonably happy with the finished poem!  (Or as happy as I ever am with my poetry anyway, being usually convinced of its poor quality…)

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Taken last April.  Odd given that the buds haven't even opened yet this year...
Taken last April. Odd given that the buds haven’t even opened yet this year…

Once

 

Once, garbed in hope and youthful dreams,

naïve in velvet and silk, and lace at my cuffs,

I dared your forests, the rose and bramble that

barred my path, walled you in, or so I thought.

The forest pared me down to muscle, ivy

twined around tree trunk bones, and

my youthful bravado was left by the wayside, a sword

encased in stone, brambles

claiming pieces of me as I passed.

I did my fools dance to twig snap and birdsong,

moon struck, moon guided,

my once vaunted finery torn, as I slowly

became woods creature adorned with blood and sap,

time and the weary miles already travelled,

the colours that marked me a stranger in a strange land

left on tree branches and thorns,

bargained away to the witch in her cave,

or given to the stranger by the wayside,

and I’ve pitched gladly down rabbit holes,

chased ravens, and

sung with blackbirds, wild and crazy.

My velvets have metamorphosed into moss and myth, treeish;

the language of plants on my tongue, and

as I’ve observed spells in the owl’s flight

the passage of time and trees has consumed all, eternal,

moments and days flying by on the wings of birds,

leaves on the wind.

 

These lessons have I learned, reluctantly at first –

how to see the jewel in a toad’s eye, and

leap with the salmon.

How to dance with foxes and sing their song while

still hearing my own.

The taste of tears like rain in all it’s seasons,

and the feel of callouses on my hands and feet.

The mark of corvids by my eyes,

gained by long weeks of scouring these woods, always for you.

And when, at long last, I

walked out of this forest, claiming pieces of myself

from tree and thorn, and

trying to regain the name I once had, I

arrived at your sleeping palace, no longer a prince, but instead

huntsman, seer, wizard;

those arched, mythic gates opened wide, and

you greeted me – wide awake, sunrise in your eyes – and said

‘At last, here is a fit mate

for the Queen of the Perilous Wood.’

And I realised that you were never asleep at all, never lost,

never in need of rescue.

It was always I.

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