A Forest Trail Invocation

Ghastly webs of milky fingers
gently whorl through my parted lips
as lamb’s wool chafes my cheeks.
Fresh pearls shine on my Scottish scarf,
as I tilt my eyes cathedral-wise.
The bats long gone, huddled, they sleep;
perfect silence, the smell of life,
of limpid snow and purity.

Image of Twilight Winter Forest

Shag bark hickory 200 years born,
the indignant Illinois would bend them
to bind the broken ankles of sin,
and snap the coiling cords
to split the dull harmonies of flesh;
and blood would splatter to sanctify the dead,
to fulfill the living who, justly, had blamed.
So bent so often, the rib arches vault still.

Each bark curl darkly holds ten thousand vacant pleas,
each a manifold of misbegotten desire,
each a crystalline failure and regret, perhaps.
But surely as all grace, snow shawls of devotion
drape arches from columnar wood, the country nave
towards the transept of childhood gleams.
White arcade against chalk cold sky!
Brilliant ice from frozen lake!
No prayer held, save by child and God.
No love, save thee and me.

Image of  Winter Forest

Yes, the trees do curve to prehend prayer
As snows drift from their ghostly air.


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