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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Frank Howe Poetry Swap-meet (49) RE: Poetry Swap-meet 07 Oct 99


Picture if you will, a clearing in the middle of a deep ancient wood. A fire burns brightly in the center of the clearing.
Around the fire a Celtic tribe, on the move, settles in for the evening.
Women prepare meals and make ready the rushes for a night's rest.
Around the flames, children play at bold games.
Two young lovers, not yet of joining age, steal glances at each other - "Will you think of me tonight? Shall I think of you?"
At the edge of the clearing stands a warrior with nothing…. but his shield…. and his spear…. and himsel

The Guard and the Prisoner
I stand with my back to the fire
And my eyes on the forest.
I hear the laughter of the children
Making shadows with their fingers.
I do not see the fleeting glow
Reflected in their confident eyes
But I remember my own shadows growing fierce
As the darkness cloaked the dying flames.
And I hide the fear, because the forest
Is so big and full of danger.

I stand with my back to the fire
And my eyes on the forest.
I hear the women as they share
Their laughter and their tears.
I do not see them, as they gently
Brush against each other's lives
But I remember the softness of my mother's hair
And her hand upon my own.
And I hold back the grief,
As the forest holds me to the circle's edge

I stand with my back to the fire
And my eyes on the forest.
I hear the rustle of leaves
And the snap of a twig.
I do not see the author of this threat
But I remember the rush of the wild boar
And the stealth of my enemy.
And I feel the heavy trust of family
As I open the door to my anger
And place its hand upon my spear.

I stand with my back to the fire
And my eyes on the forest.
I hear the life of the clan
As it moves the circles within.
I do not see the patterns of this movement
Or comprehend the power with which it moves.
But I remember the stern path, which taught me
To ever hold my face towards danger.
And I stand with pride
Because I keep the circle safe.

I stand with my back to the fire
And my eyes on the forest
And I watch
And I listen
In silence.

I stand with my back to the fire

fh 1995


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