©2021 Michael Raven

i walk my own path
through the woods
with wights clinging
to my side
-- they remain 
waiting for the dim one
to learn how
to speak their tongue

phantom passing touches
of strangers give slight
warmth, but
never ever enough
& the mists
always return to
chilling flesh, bone, heart

they hop:
branch to branch to
ground to stump to rot
sometimes laughing
at the fool following
sometimes chiding
the child who is following
sometimes silently
guiding the man wandering
down the narrow 
wooded path
-- memory escaping
-- thought deepening
while the trees backfill
the footprinted loam


©2021 Michael Raven

the new ways lie broken
shattered and painted in
dried blood stigmata
the culling of overgrowth

the groves return
old growth, old ways, old songs
where honor still lives
fathered by ash
oak thorn

we sold souls for tuppence
where we should have
kept the gold
hold on to the old ways
hold on to before

gambled lives
gambled lies
time to toss the dice &
watch the bones dance
before settling the score

entre chien et loup/

©2021 Michael Raven

trees flicker with the light & death of day
the night sliding thief-like into the sky
with indigo, tyrian & byzantium  fingers quenching
the fires still burning the forests bright

i think i saw you smiling 
though the shadows may have lied
-- they often do winter tide

hands clutched, you stole to the forest garden
my ghost in tow, stumbling over root
rock & the fates tangled skein woven
we lay in the leaves, snow & loam

we became the heat stoked with fires within
we were wine & earth & fire
-- you devoured me whole

flesh & blood
consumed, i made you whole

entre chien et loup = between dog and wolf [French idiom for dusk]