“unseen”

they told me the morning
image was all blue and green.

underfoot, regularity, steps
in some direction or other,
objective uncertain – trees
sprout in shadow, behind
where sun falls and dies.

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“One”

Everyone bristles
at the touch
of someone / thing
like her or that,
at the thought
of electric tips
crashing sparks by
the riverside,
or lost tree trunks
bobbing in murk.

“Bloodied Roots”

beneath black boughs
drinking in sun and rain,
we bled ourselves
among the roots.

wind ran through valleys,
catching dead leaves
and dead men – it screamed
through lives lost and lived.

our Gods dined on blood and salt,
freely spilt and freely given –
they sheltered us, hinted at unknowables
and watched while we were cut down.

“The Valley Fled”

the valley fled from the thought of us
unimpeded by the wind or rocks,
axes brought to bear against trunks
and arrows notched at old souls,
curious in their repose at new faces
contorted with emotions they couldn’t
understand or know – the rage
of an unenlightened world.

“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.