© by Steve King
All rights reserved
The sacred groves have all been hewn to render fences, dwellings, and their neat décor,
and rafts of other transitory things that will not shimmer nor bend with the air.
Not so much for temples and their ilk; not sanctuaries nor remote retreats
to shelter mendicant reflections, or to echo with those quaint old prayers.
Gone, the children’s hiding place in sheltered fairy-bowers;
gone the shamans and their daylight charms; gone the wise birds and seers.
I’ve read that in old days, those times gone by when gods were still with us,
with powers fit to fill the ready air, their large presence would inhabit the woods;
and for the gift of hospitality they would endow the golden boughs
with full song of spirit to hymn the notes of the enlivened leaves,
bidding winds to sing; granting grace to those who dreamed as kings,
if only over those small shaded realms, if only for a moment.
And now the sacred groves are gone, and gods don’t live by ready air alone.
Vacant are those airs, and stilled the voice that echoed all around;
and scattered on the open ground, the ashes of what once were golden boughs.