in sacred woods

he grows among bark and screech
and other natural prayers of the dark
a deliberate root
with the will and skills for wilderness

all make-up scrubbed from the heart
his hold is surer than the collar
once rounding him to other intention
another stray safely in the fold

ash on hands and earth under nails
he wears the anointing of place
and in the fire he’s built for company
animals are born to burn as revelation

random shapeshift ghosts
glowing a dream geometry

31 thoughts on “in sacred woods

  1. Although neither in shape or form this poem, to me, is very Blake in its essence, John. It seems to speak of Truth and the creative force which lives within each of us which our ‘cultures’ try to suppress. I may, of course, be wrong in guessing your intentions.
    Hope your are well
    Chris

  2. John, the first verse evoked thoughts of some who live in a dangerous world where they have had to develop means for survival. Perhaps homelessness is one category of people who live among the “screech” and have learned “will and skills” just to experience a new sunrise. This is what first came to mind, although my interpretation may not be correct in what you were expressing.
    Hugs, my friend…

  3. From within the sanctity of our environs we quiz the night sky seeking the who, what and why of our existence from the creator of all that is. Our mortality defining each and every one of us with absolution as some pray others offer living sacrifices in hopes to appease and delay the inevitable. I have read this gifted work many times but I am certain I have not interpreted it accurately even though the beauty of your words and the gift of the intellect imbued still whisper to me. It is a work of art that will beckon me repeatedly to read and savor. Ever your friend, Jon Michael.

  4. Brother John – Absolutely beautiful poem. Love the imagery leading to the mythical truth within us. Sacred woods immediately make me think of Druids and their worship of nature as a path to the God within us: a deliberate root
    with the will and skills for wilderness

    Pretence done away with in the search for truth and the Way:

    all make-up scrubbed from the heart
    his hold is surer than the collar
    once rounding him to other intention
    another stray safely in the fold

    Until he is the religion and the revelation:

    ash on hands and earth under nails
    he wears the anointing of place
    and in the fire he’s built for company
    animals are born to burn as revelation

    and the world within him glorious with:

    random shapeshift ghosts
    glowing a dream geometry

    One of my all time favorite poems of yours!

  5. Thank you
    Brother David

    for this first-rate evaluation of the work, thorough and accurate without being heavyhanded or pedantic – you reached in where i hoped readers would go, and you ‘cover’ the movement of thought from beginning to end. I am humbled by your effort and your insight, and grateful beyond words.

    Much love to You and Diane

    Always

    Brother john

  6. ‘Born to burn’. Aren’t we all? I think I feel your mood, but you are the Skillful one to put it in words. These two new poems seem to be related somehow. Is it the geometry? I hope you get a message of peace and happiness in your dreams.
    Hugs.
    Inese

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