All Their Voices

Words and thoughts in devotion to the Divine

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Flidais’ Emissaries

That day,

in the rain,

water dripping off the branches overhead,

the forest all around me embracing me,

I felt your presence as never before,

sensed your gaze upon me as

I walked past oaks and pines and maples,

listened to the whisper of the rain,

and then, ahead of me,

well off the path I had abandoned

a mile or more ago,

your emissaries stepped out of the shadows.

Six deer:

a stag, three does, two fawns,

and I came to a stop,

watched as they cropped grass and herbs as they walked.

They showed no fear of me,

just as they would show no fear

of hawk or squirrel or raccoon or rabbit,

coming forward until they were no more

than a foot or two away.

I could have reached out

and touched those children,

but was content

to stand there under the boughs of an elm,

water streaming from my hair,

and watch them continue on,

until they were out of sight,

fellow travelers from your land,

neither far-off or foreign.

visiting that place that we both loved so well.


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Psalm for Flidais

The scent of loam,

of fir and oak and rain.

Here, in this instant,

She breathes in;

the light of midday

falling through the trees

dapples Her shoulders

like an extra layer of freckles.

Hair bound back in a tight plait,

so as not to catch on

branches and briars when She runs.

She runs;

oh, how She runs!

The deer She guards

are no more fleet or lithe than She;

the tunic woven of leaf and ivy

blends in to the forest around Her,

and the blur that She becomes

as She runs is all but invisible.

Her hair is the flame that does not burn;

Her eyes are stars falling, blue-white in darkness.

Her feet are bare against the wet mud

and broken boughs

that litter the forest floor.

Her steps are lighter than gossamer;

each foot leaves no impression

in mud or mire,

and all around Her, birds sing

to praise the lady of the woods.

Flitting through the treetops, from

branch to branch, toes barely kissing each limb

before leaping to the next;

each fleeting step so perfect a dance that

the winds become envious of her grace,

and the deer find themselves clumsy in her presence.

She shines, even when bending low;

head dipping before the pool,

kneeling to sip water as the deer sip.

Round her fair throat twines the sweetness of woodbine,

pale yellow blossoms in clusters,

curling heavily where nothing else about her is;

in the pellucid gloaming, dusk

paints purple and charcoal shadows on her eyes.

The deer do not start when she joins them,

do not flee;

She moves with them when dusk comes on,

and beds down among them when the bright sun

lifts its head above the far horizon.

She grieves when fawn or doe or stag

falls to the fangs of fox or wolf,

but does not hunt them in vengeance;

these things are part of the cycle,

and the balance must be maintained.

Here she will be, dwelling among them always,

racing through ash and alder, elm and apple,

tangled oak and beech weaving their limbs together,

these slender violins strung with ivy and wild grape,

in this greenwood that is her home.