EQUINOX IN THE FOREST
The sky is pregnant with clouds now.
They scud, tumble, threaten rain,
bear down on hill tops,
shed splatters of ridicule.
They mock me, and
trees bend with laughter.
The wind derides, rattles
white-boned witch-doctor leaves.
Owl yawns pretending boredom,
opens one eye in annoyance,
ruffles his inexplicably untidy feathers,
then folds his wings on the day.
Yet I know I saw rabbit cower to his burrow,
robin hide her head beneath grey wing;
heard the possum snarl his displeasure,
and the old protective vixen
yap her protest to the moon.
Tree spirits, their grotesque arms entwined,
swayed in a spectral dance, while
restless shadows flung tongues of darkness
into secretive stone corners. I heard the chant,
I heard it, and the responding call;
strange voices that echoed down the valley
of the hidden folk. There, where a manes
is seen on the night of a full moon…
I heard the whisper of wings
as the mage, dressed in his feathers of owl,
flew to greet the great witch-wind
on her return from the desert.
I heard the curlew’s call of despair;
he had known what havoc
would be executed in that midnight hour.
He had heard her wretched song
(where the two ridges meet) felt
her breath…still carrying the deserts heat.
In her rear guard the sound of menace
had rumbled across the hill hidden sky.
Laugh if you will my pretty trees.
Mock me you dark sulky clouds
with your spears of fire and your spittle.
I know what I saw and heard last night!
Four in the morning!
Plates dance a tango, glasses trip a light step
upon polished wood. Stainless steel lids convulse,
clatter against stronger bodies.
Iron pots hold their stance, refuse
to join in the fracas. Eggbeater belts a retreat.
Waving wooden spoons
conduct an abstract symphony.
Silent feet, deft hands spin spices from
solid shelves into confused conglomerations
of yellow, red and brown pools where
peppercorns puddle with coriander and mustard balls.
Earl Grey rains black deluge, joins rice
in its rambles and flour frolicking on the floor.
Expresso coffee maps Italy and
plastic bags futter over all.
Torch light searches, gathers in its beams
big black eyes that blink, unconcerned,
perhaps unaware of a foolish four o’clock foray
into uncharted territory.
Perched upon its pedestal the ring-tailed possum
stares with careless curiosity.
All the while, above it all,
your framed, photographed face smiles!