“Kingdom”

Her throne was a forest near killing fields
littered with broken guns
and broken bodies sleeping
while she carried spirits off.

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“Exchange”

The swapped colours, carefully:
the ground grew silver
the hut dirtied its boosts,
before whispering nothings about isolation,
of tree trunks paces
from doorless doorways
and dark inviting portals.
It cycled owners, remembering faces
who’d taken refuge in the nothing
before one day wandering alone
and finding civilisations thumbprint
stamped in an asphalt exit ramp
awkwardly clearing its throat
offering rescue.

“Forested Arms”

through bark and bough
bursting, demanding
light speckled leaves
fast-growing saxifrage
garlands gladly given,
hoisted around shoulders
which once bore rifle stocks
blooms keep blood at bay,
pressed into wounds
hereto unnoticed; trees
older than bullets break,
blasting splinters through air
cutting flowers and faces

he stops and drops his gun,
propped against a dying oak,
then walks, bloodstained
boots crunching leaves,
into forested arms.

“The Valley”

We swept through the valley like wind
rustling over undergrowth and roots,
drinking our fill of air and life and love.

we found that grove of trees,
heard those voices older than words,
felt faces in the bark and salt
on the floor – blood was spilt
long ago, here, for Gods long gone.

once, they’d stood together
on roots drunk with life
once, they’d stood together
against a legion’s love
once, they’d lay together
amidst the burning trees.

from that grove a new emerges,
godless, born of salt and blood
and song: the song’s of bards
born before the wall could crumble.

we found that grove, and many others:
we found and we remember
what chants lived in these boughs,
and what God’s died in them.