Quickwords Vol. 20 – Black Woods

I’m almost two months late for a spooky and grim theme, but what does that matter? Welcome to Quickwords, my very own poetry series! Today’s the twentieth volume, Black Woods.

Countless trees overlap with dark trunks and leaves. White light breaches the canopy, but the forest floor remains in shadow.
Photo by Francesco Ungaro

| Lumberjack, Lumberjack |

Lumberjack, Lumberjack, cut them a tree
Chop a trunk of black wood and slice it in three
So they can give planks to this ship piece by piece
And question if it is what it used to be

Lumberjack, Lumberjack, your hands are tied
Bring them some timber and flatten its hide
So they can tell themselves things and not think they’ve lied
Boards on new vessel sail poison tide

| Black Woods |

Where the fog’s shadow makes tenebrous the viridescent
A snarling theft of life’s solemn hue
To the fleeting stars are the trees Montague

When the light has faded and the only pollution is the dead
A cozy home the macabre forget
To the tearful trees are the stars Capulet

What to my bleeding feet are needles with drugs I was to afraid to try
A phantasmagoria of my gnarled roots
To a wicked place destiny wants shoot

Why I began to walk in these black woods I cannot remember
A mission submersed wipes my mind of air
To a pilgrim wraiths bring wounds lest he care

Who I knew in this photograph I hold is a man time prevents my being
A fragment in future, present, and past
To give me a shrouded memento at last

How one arrives and how one comes to leave
A question two left feet cannot answer
To a day known in passing I live with this cancer

| Bloodied Blade |

You tell me hellhounds hunt for blood
And I wield this blade afraid of all they could do
But gore adorns the sword and keeps the wolves fresh on my trail
With trembling hands I release the handle and cry in the light of a candle
Teach me the lesson that the screams will lesson and I need not hold a weapon

| With twisted paw |

Autumn needs no change from the leaves where no sun
Would care gift the forest in which the beasts run
A muck ravine siphons ichor from the cold spring
Muffles the tunes of drowned starlings who would’ve hoped to sing
Crystalline clarity reflects only shadow
Or broken frescoes in debris from a ground once hallowed
With twisted paw a pup staggers to the water
Loathing the fangs of its pack and the pelt of its father
Each lap from the stream sees only the foremost
To survive yet one night but one day be a pure ghost
Silver in moonlight and brilliant to brimstone
Tame to the hounds who feed on the dead’s bones
The young wolf howls beyond its quenched thirst
To someone, not something, lost in this black earth
Blood not yet spilled is all still of worry
Onward this spirit runs to where light comes from morning

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