March 18, 2012

poem 85 of a poem a day for 2012

Frau Trude  (I might have been burned bright this way once too) 

if the Devil can't come himself
why does he send a crone
to hone in on young skin  
with calls to sing 
a milk and dust 
and iron and guts song

(all paid off, all paid off )
the elves and brownies sing
each reprise
so even a cobbler
knows too this call 
of what not to do
with the bloodstone 
eyes of children 
staked as crumbs
wanted to renew
crow footed mysteries
of seeded intrigues
when travelling alone 
in the forest
after being told not to

what is in store for those
that have not listened 
to their parents
that might not have 
heart enough 
to provide surrender 
when given chance
after chance
to dance a
oh yes mama
oh yes papa
to quiet their want
of something
they're told
they can't have
just yet

this is what weaves 
this is what some 
would call Divine
this is what is
really Winter's soul
demanding a role
to age what the piper
culls every gift 
that fills 
every womb
between the sorrow of loss
and tomorrow set adrift

as a petulant child
who runs away
day after day
seems to forget
a parent's 
call to stay
do not go 
into the forest alone
your flesh is sweet
and there's magic 
in your bones

spirits there
they ring bells 
to make a fire of you
and torches to bear too
each mark of the woodsman
the butcher and the huntsman
and what they will do
their children 
once didn't listen too
so now they
all sweep witch corners
and watch 
the clung curiosity
trace the faces
of borrow
to sorrow 
the ash
in pockets of posies
staked for cash

these tales
never kill 
all at once
they always let children
find what grows in bunches
in those thatched little homes
in a forest clear
with a hunch
of an old woman
and red apple near
where finally fear
severs the cling of fingers
to the last window
of what used to be 
the reckless abandon
of childhood you'll never see
we now give memory to be
just to feel warmth 
take a knee
and burn as bright
as one can
when finally 
you know
you're alive 
with one reason
only,after being
turned to wood
ready and
to be eaten
and to toast
that crone's 
two feet
as a smile 
might slyly lace 
the whisper-cackles 
of run on home 
to cry
but you know
as I do 
little one
it's too late now
you have come 
here to die

EJR (c)


  1. ok...after reading this..i think i'm not going into the forest today..smiles..honestly..i was a bit unsure about it for a while but i think fairy tales do not a bad job to sensibilize children for a certain danger outside heir "safe" world... i'm really not into scaring kids with such stories but i like the moral many fairy tales tell us in an entertaining way..

    1. As I was reading Grimm's Tales...I was struck by the repeated theme of that safeguarding you spoke about...and how perhaps in our modernity, we have these archetypal stories to protect the child inside us and a lot of these classic folk tales were re-worked in the advent of the industrial age(s)...yet the delicate balance in the womb of free-will and faith we have always birthed our divinity from, is the same double-helix of our souls' rhythms it has always been I suspect...the emotional and spiritual value of play and the sense of awe for nature is enhanced more so now, perhaps, despite seemingly being taken for granted in the "real" world...I believe cautionary fairy tales are more needed than ever...thank you for taking the time to comment...a very thought provoking prompt for me...gratitude...Edward

  2. oo what an ending....i like the wisdom shared through story of the old tales, put with stories to enchant the children so they remember them...i think that in some we limit ourselves but others a true warning is to be heeded...dont talk to strangers for instance has been drilled in our heads, which certainly saves us on some level but also limits us from touching other lives truly in need to it is a double edged sword...

    1. aaah the ending...all irony with no subtlety,as the event horizon of a choice that fates is passed...all these stories really make me appreciate the journey and those Faustian bargains that sometimes becoming an adult can lead us to make...I think I smell another poem coming...thank you...Edward

  3. To those who heed no warning....From your bones shall fences come, from your flesh will fine dinning and from your eyes a fair necklace.

    1. Yes...exactly...really appreciate your comment...the warnings we, ourselves, give others are often the ones we most ignore...kudos...and thank you...Edward