Friday, June 24, 2011

Lost in the Woods

Moonrise, Alison Jardine

Lost in the Woods

and clamor
running through the black boles of elm;
there’s no green at night
no light
only noise to see by.

I played with
the crazy ones
the blue and tatooed ones,
the ones I couldn’t keep
so deep
in the woods.

I thought
I was a wild thing
smelling blood and water
coming to me on the air
my hair
tangled with promises of nettle.

But I was already
tamed, a fallow patch
danced bare
out where
music’s ghost hunts the ear.

And when they
left me
in the clearing
under the masked moon
too soon
I saw the cage.

June  2011

Posted for Poets United Thursday Think Tank #58, prompt: nighttime.

was also posted for  Friday Poetically   at the inimitable OneStopPoetry

Brian's prompt this week is to write from the intricate and surprising visual art of Alison Jardine. I chose an oil on canvas work entitled Moonrise

In addition to Ms Jardine's work,  this poem also owes something to the below song:


  1. I quite like the give and take of this poem. I cannot put my finger on exactly why I like this, but I do. Which is enough.

  2. This is wonderfully intriguing. And visually rich, with the galloping words and the wild thing that was tame. The cage at the end arrives with a jolt. Really wonderful writing, Ms. Witch!

  3. only noise to see by...perfect description of being in the woods at night...oh how easily we become caged and tamed without even realising it...until we sit alone in that clearing....evocative write hedge...good stuff...

  4. Oh! reminds me of "Where The Wild Things Are". Wonderful write to an enchanting image.

  5. I'm curious if this is partly from your solo campout you mention at my place?

    You capture the same feeling I had, just beautifully. I thought I could join nature in one night out there, and all I felt was terror, yes caged by those trees, even though I couldn't see them. Oh smelling blood and water / coming to me on the air . . beautifully done.

    The rhyme and meter is gorgeous, it works so well. The quick rhyming word in the short lines lends a sort of inevitableness to this certainty of being annihilated by some horrible entity.

  6. The wilderness is always just beyond the last street in town, undoing all that's developed, a free space, wild, dangerous, haunted, mystical, a place of initiation and desecration, the wild hunt and the boneyard boogaloo. There's always magic and danger there, at night, guided by its weird lights (not green). Civilization drops away and the animal pelt springs forth, or seems to, prehistory subsuming the known, a wild collective resurgence of all that we grew out of, or thought to. The archetypal setting is a good one for the personal narrative, placing a history on the stage of prehistory; the self-abandonment and its danger coaslesce into a forest cage, folklore's warning that there's love and danger in them thar hills. You enter to forest where it is thickest in memory and find a grail castle there --thought the sacrament its seems is poisoned, at least a dubious hootch. Fine work, friend. - Brendan

  7. Many thanks all for stopping by and leaving your thoughts and impressions.

    @Ruth: The rough for this was actually written a bit previous to me reading about your solo trip, but I've no doubt that memory is around in it. I've had many great experiences camping, especially in the mountains, but it's always the spooky things that come out in our poems, yes?

  8. There is so much to like about this poem. Every sense adds to the tension, and then there are all the descriptive phrases, things like, “a fallow patch danced bare.” How visual.

  9. Got to love Leon! I haven't heard that song in donkey yonks, and it's a good one.

    The poem reminds me of a couple of lines by John Lennon:

    "You think you're so clever and classless and free,

    But you're still fucking peasants as far as can see"

    It's not a twin to what you wrote, but it's a cousin for sure.

  10. My first visit to your site and this is simly beautiful! Your descriptive words bring the mystery of night to life.

  11. You chose such a beautiful image and painted it so expressively in your poem, JoyAnn. Loved it. I'll post mine on One Shot Wednesday. You think you're late???

  12. Thanks all, for stopping by.
    @Victoria--hey thanks for making me look good. ;-)

  13. Joy, I enjoyed gliding through the poem, and pow!
    That stanza rang so true.Ah! life.


  14. Magic of night among trees in full measure here, and expressed with melody among the word rhythms...

  15. This catches beautifully the unlikely magical effects of nighttime on the senses.

  16. I loved it even more this time, Hedge......I love the mood and the pace of it, the hint of wildness "already tamed" and "danced bare". Fantastic writing, as ever.


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats

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