Old Timbers

away from home
i think of old timbers
weathered by time
firelight reflects
on warm weathered wood

rattling windows
shelter lovers in tangled embrace
the old shutters tap
and swing back in the wind
in the blast of a storm outside
the weathercock spins
and turns twice about unhinged

this contrast of images
inside and out
where light does battle with dark
seems to sum up the world
where we cannot hide
and time is unfurled
but our hearts are well understood

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Lucky Boy.

Mr. What-Was-His-Name
Had many Things
He lived in a house
Very fine, fit for Kings,
But the doors folded inward
And never lead out.
I ask you, my friends,
What was that all about?

The boy on his doorstep,
Had flowers in his hat.
He sat on the doorstep
And talked to the cat.
The cat said his fortune
Lay out in the fields.
The boy on the doorstep
Was happy with that.

The boy wandered off
In search of a wood.
He whistled and sang
As he went on his way.
His only thought was
‘What a fine day!’
When he was hungry
The berries were good.
He never did anything
Quite as he should.

When the night fell upon him
He looked at the stars
They hung high above him,
Over his bed,
Where he curled himself up,
Under a tree
And slept the sleep, of the just
And the dead.

Mr. What-Was-His-Name
Had many Things
He lived in a house
Very fine, fit for Kings.
But the boy, in the morning,
Woke up with the lark.
He shook off the dewdrops
And sprouted fine wings.
Lucky is he who whistles and sings.

In Narnia

Narnia, where we used to go,
Through the door beneath our stairs
That took us down the hidden lanes
To open fields of snow again

Icicles and winter fires
Breathe of horses in the frost
Snow drifts formed enchanted spires
Terraces and palisades

Tumnus hiding from the Witch
Down beside the darkened wood
We huddled close to hear the bells
Jingling silver on her sleigh

She never came to catch us there
We were young and innocent
And far too brave for one as she
We were free and happy then

All the ways we understood
Now we understand them all anew
No witch will ever make us stone
She never could, she never will

No victims of her wicked arts
The sunlight comes to bring the thaw
The lion shines within our hearts
Our magic lives here as before

 

In Narnia

Apple Tree

you have stood on this ledge
in the mountains above,
on the edge of the forest,
ever since i was only an innocent child
listening to stories and scribbling poems
my spine rested against your strength

you stood, the same
in sunlight and starlight
in wild winds and rain
while I wandered about in the wood
finding the well trodden paths
getting lost but finding the way again

warm-hearted, abundant,
and welcoming still
I thank you for bringing me home

The Well in the Wood

i have seen this well in the wood, long ago
my dreams are hid in its moss covered walls
treasures I secretly left there before
its slippery sides plunge down to dark depths
where water is constantly dripping
drip, drip, dripping,
into my thoughts

aware of the trees leaning over
dropping their leaves into the pool
hanging over the side,
feeling the coolness,
i drop in a pebble and wait

long falling before an echo
this well is old and deep

 

 

On the Green Hill

She comes to me after midnight,

whispering soft in my ear

her face full of moonlight,

her dress is pale and blue

starlight glints in the weave.

I almost understand her.

I hear her whispered words

in a language i once knew,

or thought I knew.

She tries to tell me stories,

lost long ago in sleep,

stories lost in a dream somewhere

inscribed on a unicorns horn

and the print of a satyrs hoof.

I gather a word here and there.

I store them away with care

but all the next day

I long for her

and I cant untangle the words.

My heart is bewitched, enthralled.

I long for the night to come again,

the night on the hill in the wood.

My Dragon

there is a good reason
fairy tale lovers often live
in high towers
with a thick wood all around
they may need a drawbridge
and a watery moat
to keep a troublesome world out

i don’t know
how to drop the portcullis
the wheel is too big to turn it about
but you have your silver dust
in a pouch from the faeries
and i have a dragon
that’s always on guard

he may speak with soft words
but he sleeps with one eye wide open
and the other half closed

The Green Man

he wanders free in the wild wood
naked,
the glance of his eye a green sunbeam
filtered through ancient branches
his sigh a shimmer of leaves

he wanders alone in the wild wood
bringing the violent storm
and spinning the whirlwind leaves
he throws branches to the ground
to be gathered for fire and home

he wanders entranced in the wild wood
naked, he walks the paths of the deer,
those secret paths that are not to be found
unless you have eyes to see
the magic that shelters in trees

he wanders free in the wild wood
smeared in musk and honey
rabbits twitch their ears and suddenly run
you know you are watched
by the tingling of your spine

his feet buried in roots
his head circled by hawks
he is dangerous, terrible, beautiful
heady as wine, drunk on the sap of life
he is around the next turn and the last

Alchemy

Hearts are cast in spun gold,

life moves in reversal.

The cup closes in on itself,

hurt and loss, universal.

 

The brave knight risks all,

mapping the winding paths,

lost and confused, tiring,

he fights endless battles of old.

 

Rust turns gold to base metal.

 

There is no mystery here.

The philosophers stone,

well worn and smoothed,

tumbled by time,

rolled and burnished in tides,

lies at his feet unnoticed,

until he looks down and knows.

 

His armour thrown aside,

he sees through the eyes of kindness.

 

Enemies are only hurt children

grown and casting wild arrows.

There is no evil hiding in woods,

only  spirits, frightened.

The world has a deeper meaning.

 

Looking again he sees blessings,

losses turn into lessons,

the balm of a deeper healing.

Love was the key he needed;

the heart is opened by seeing.

 

Base metal returns to gold