POEM: Hymns to the Forest God #28

There are bones beneath the floor of the forest. 

There are bones unburied, scraped clean by hungry teeth, 

the predator and then the scavenger. There is blood shed, 

soaked into the complex earth. Scat gets buried, but 

the carcases of the dead lie in the underbrush. Flowers 

push up through the fine bones of dead birds, pushing 

aside the dry feathers. There are levels and layers of 

death underneath all that life, the green leaf and 

the sparkling stream, the white mushroom and 

the red berry, death and dirt and decay. There is 

no comfort in the silence of life reduced to rotting meat.


Bones make flutes, the god tells me. Sinews make 

strings. Branches stretch strings into harp and lyre, 

not just bow and arrow. Dead flesh becomes meat, 

mushroom adds flavor. The forest remembers, 

layers and levels of memory, the dead, the unborn, 

the worlds that were and will be overlapping 

one another. Come, sit here, says the Forest God.

Sit with me and sing of what is mourned.

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