by Ed Davis
Spring finally arrived first Sabbath in March
and, seeking release of care that had lain
fisted in my heart, I shed winter
to track shadowed paths to the forest church.
The pine woods cathedral opened above while I,
penitent pilgrim, lay within its warm womb,
March wind wailing its high, keening hymn.
A lone hawk rode into the edge of my sight
and roots blinding me to land loosed, letting
me float free, watching my body recede.
It lay far below like a sad fallen tree,
ringed by piney elders, arms swaying softly
while they chanted the wind’s mournful dirge.
Then blood thrummed deep within me, rising
to roar inside my head and I became one
with the hawk’s soft rhythm of wings
as we dove floorward to the mouse’s lair.
Re-embodied, I rose, strode back down paths,
Head full of hawk thoughts, having witnessed
Where civilization ends and wild wisdom begins.
(From the chapbook Whispering Leaves,
Great Elm Press, 1989.)