i slept here once
in the contour folds of forest
curved among the trees –
the sideways sleep
of long days silence.

i dreamed here too
dreamed their voices
like rasp grass in autumn wind
pushing up through the valley.
i dreamed her here –
grass crowned like a bird
like a queen
like tuft grass that golds
in late light.
and the voices were wind
and river and sky
and water falling rock to pebble-bed,
voices like long arched seed heads
that gather autumn dew –
singing gravel voices rippling
along my skin.

i woke here once
from the forest deep sleep
from the forgetting
and remembering and forgetting –
was called from sleep
by name in the forest –
again and again
until like slow return
to surface in summer’s river
a slow rise to where
the silver bubbles break
i rose from that sleep
without moving at all –

i woke in this forest
to a low-branched kingfisher
almost head height
on the down slope
calling and calling me

for Brendan at Earthweal’s weekly challenge SPIRITS OF PLACE


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