For World Poetry Day, from my novel, Prophecy of the Wolf, close to being released
The woman wrapped the child against the cold And walked into the forest where the glow Of moonlight pooled a deeply shadowed gold Beneath the trees on softly shining snow. She gathered wood, the baby on her back, And built a fire, its warmth a dancing light Upon a great flat rock protruding black Into the lake’s infinity of white. Then, in the dark, sat, death-still, beside The flames, the baby in her arms, the smear Of stars above their heads a radiant tide Of silence singing to the ebbing year. At last, her voice a permutation slipped Into the night, she started chanting words Born deep in spirit as the blackened crypt Of waters stirred beneath lake ice, and birds, As black as mourning shrouds, began to fly, The forest stirring like the waters, wind A whisper as the baby voiced a tiny cry And shadowy trees began to sway and bend. The woman got up on her feet, her voice As silver as the moon, and sang as deer Began to bound onto the ice: “Rejoice,” The woman sang, and as she sang the fear Felt during hours of pain-filled, labored birth Dissolved into the biting wind and light That danced with deer upon the lake, the earth And living integrated with the night.