Sun dapple, leaf and loam,
hive and nest and hole,
root and branch and honeycomb,
make refuge for a soul.
Small bright eyes and rustle tails
bring tales of distant skies,
winged travelers from distant vales
sing him lullabies.
Rings of ages hold him tight,
through endless century,
hold him there both day and night,
the soul within the tree.
Hungry roots and thirsty leaves
connect him to the earth,
he sleeps and wakes and sleeps again,
awaiting his rebirth.
Smiles and sunshine all day long,
whistling a cheerful song,
head up high and meeting eyes,
so no one see’s through the disguise.
See’s the true and hidden me,
the danger they all fail to see,
until dark night eclipses day,
until the mask is ripped away,
until then, I’ll keep living lies,
and waiting behind my disguise.
eyes of amber pull me in, with crooked nose and wicked grin,
small and slender, sleek and fair, coffee skin and midnight hair,
fingers quick to pull and tease, but quicker still to pet and please,
running wild through moonlit night, eyes alert and glowing bright,
ears uplifted, tail erect, my guardian that I protect,
beneath the stars, with yipping bay, we sing the moon and call the day,
then curl in close in hidden den, until the sun is gone again.
Little girl lost, I fell through a hole,
my sanity serving to pay the toll,
my name they took to serve as well,
and all that’s left is an empty shell.
They call me “girl” and stroke my hair,
they strip my soul and body bare,
they feed me lies and pretty words,
and filter past in nightmare herds,
the faces blurring in my head,
mourners for the not-quite-dead.
my casket is as soft as silk,
my skin they keep as white as milk,
they brush my hair and whisper lies,
they turn their heads, avoid my eyes,
they pose the body carefully,
the pieces that are left of me
perform throughout the endless night,
and then lie still at mornings light,
a battered doll with broken strings,
a bird with torn and shackled wings.
sighing, settling, breathing out old ghosts and new, scent of resin seeping from ancient boards, new blood from the long dead.
here is a sound…sigh of a contented waking yawn. a childs soft wail in the deep of night. the quiet squeak of a stairstep under stealthy foot.
here a feeling…the deep frightened love of a new mother. the soft velvet of a summer midnight. a shiver of window frost melting beneath tiny fingertips.
there an odor…surprise french-toast for mothers day. the sharpness of a dandelion freshly picked by clumsy but loving fingers. the dry sharp smell of laundry day.
even tastes…attic explorations, a cough of dust and cardboard. icy slice of winter morning through a quickly opened door. holiday dinners, layered one over the other in a pastiche of family.
and the sights…thin black-and-white bars of shadow on a pretty pastel wall. a trail of colorful boots, wet backpack, half inside-out jacket, across a clean kitchen floor. and a moment of sleepy fright and confusion, eyes meeting mirrored eyes across a dusky hallway.
all these and more seep and stew, melding present to future, phantoms of possibility and past. the house dreams…
whisper, giggle, prank and play,
the changelings now will have their day,
beware the mortal taken in
by childish laugh and friendly grin,
they’ll whirl him through enchanted night,
and leave him lost in mornings light,
baffled, flustered and confused,
exhausted, hungry and bemused,
but somehow lonely for the sound
of little footsteps on the ground,
and childish voices raised in glee,
footloose, all, and fancy free.
skitter skitter in the depths,
chitter chitter little teeth,
black as night and whisper fast,
my brothers of the underneath.
bodies sleek and whippet quick,
clutch and tangle, swarm and scurry,
senses keen as sharpest razor,
warm the prey waits, hurry, hurry.
quickly strike and quicker feed,
tear and rend with bone-sharp teeth,
blind as midnight, you see all,
gods pity those who fall beneath.
why do they say that morning has broken,
when the deep velvet sky slowly changes its hue?
is it because, like heavens own breakfast,
the bright yolk of daytime comes pouring through?
rain in the morning, a spatter of droplets
singing a song as it meets with the dew,
or is that the sizzle of celestial bacon..
what? am I hungry? not really…are -you-??