BY WENDY BARKER
The woods this night are dark and deep.
Cracked leaves shush beneath my feet.
Clouds hide the first quarter’s crescent.
My heart’s heavy troubles become evanescent.
I creep, crafty, through sticks, over stones.
Skinny twigs and fat acorns tickle bleached bones.
Sleeping sentinels stand tall around a shadowy pool,
Open to the shimmering sky, and reflecting a fool.
The reflection ascends to envelop my mind,
And a vision descends, the life-changing kind.
I sat in a clearing, warm sun on my face,
I clearly had wealth, kindness, power, and grace.
I knew it was I, like I know my own eyes,
And I felt a bright love like rays from the sky
Refreshing my spirit, a bath, cool and deep
On a hot summer’s day, or a much-needed sleep.
So while it is night, the sun boldly shines,
Crow delivers to me a skeleton key.
Swooping by to drop in my lap
What all men crave, a most holy map.
An answer to questions drowned yet treasured,
A pathway, renowned for comfort and pleasure,
Upon which sits crowned a queen in her glory, a force all her own,
Whom no king can conquer, her fate surely sown.
This vision as quickly vanishes as it arrives
On the wings of the messengers, forged in the hive.
Earth, wind, trees, sky, all relinquish control,
You see — the key is that I am that Queen, and she is my soul.
I rush up to the summit, climb out on a limb,
Wolves howl ‘cross to me, “Remember thy kin.
The one who shall carry your heart with ease
Will pluck it tenderly from thy sleeve.”
Pine needles, spider webs, stitching seams
Across the creek, flowing fast with dreams
I prick my finger, drawing blood
And cleanse my sins in its healing, scarlet flood.
These haunted woods are real, yet so much more;
Spirits rooted in my soul, crystallize my core.
The caves shelter bears that dream of my name,
The valleys cradle magic and rejoice that I came.
Their Holy Wild Queen has crossed the sea
To return to where stoic groves ache privately
And hold open their arms in eternal welcome
For the Maiden, the Mother, the Crone.
My light, my light, my very own, shall guide my reign,
Illuminating the forest’s darkest days,
And turn this deep wood to shining, sacred gold,
Worth my blessed life, and three more fold.
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