Sunday, October 12, 2014

Beneath the forest wind

©  Steve King
All rights reserved

Beneath the forest wind,
I knew the raven’s chord.
I closed my eyes to hear
him call as to the gods,
those mighty ones of old
who treasured his dark soul
and measured out the fates
upon his spreading wings.

But I’m no mighty one:
my mind had been attuned
to the pure liquid song
of a far calling loon,
lost to all but himself,
his answer an echo
giving voice to absence,
across an emptiness
that held the dark waters
and a surfeit of stars.

The raven calls alone
until old gods awake.
I needed no such prayer
to stir the dark spirits.

The loon shall never dream,
and I shall never sing;
my dreaming and his song
temper old emptiness:
beatitudes enough
to quell grim reverie,
all orison and psalm
inflecting now to me.

A new post for the Poetry Pantry


  1. There is quite a difference between the call of the loon and the call of the raven. I like the ways you have characterized each call. There is something very stirring about each.

  2. the loon and the raven are much different calls...i would prefer the crane, standing stoic by the water---able to leave when it is ready

    it is an interesting comparison you have built in this...

  3. I see the birds did indeed speak with you and inspire a response--one that I find very resonant. Fate and emptiness, perhaps, or the ambitions and ideals that loom large, trumped by a voice from the void that calls out the ending of dreams and hopes, the 'absence' of fruition. But perhaps that's reading it a bit morbidly--I do love the measured grace of the words here, Steve, esp this: '.. giving voice to absence,/across an emptiness/that held the dark waters/and a surfeit of stars..'

  4. I love the bird voices in this beautiful poem. Love "the raven's chord" and his spreading wings......"the raven calls alone until old gods awake" is such a powerful is "the loon shall never dream." Fantastic write.

  5. The forest wind may drown out the loon's dream and the poet's song, but it has not the power to silence the sound of solitude. Not while we reject the dark forces the raven seeks. Your poem makes me think as if I was in a wooded glade, unable to deflect responsibility for my world to anyone larger or greater than myself.

  6. I like to think how beneath the forest wind a dark force rises riding the void...raven's call, loons song, shattered dream add to the eerie emptiness ....

  7. the raven carries so much history and secrets assigned to him already under its wings... i like how you compare to the loon here...its dreams and songs...

  8. To me the call of the raven and that of the loon has its loneliness in common.. it's the call of backcountry it's the call of wilderness.. though they might tell me different things they commonality is that of man and nature... beautiful writing.

  9. From first to last line, a lovely write Steve ~ I specially like raven's chord, pure liquid song, and emptiness resonating with these:

    The loon shall never dream,
    and I shall never sing;
    my dreaming and his song
    belying emptiness:


  10. The raven is often thought of as the shadow self and sometimes a messenger of loneliness..The Loon is a solitary sad
    the loon shall never dream..and I shall never sing, such sadness beautiful
    in a dark sort of way.

  11. I feel the heaviness, darkness in this piece, Steve, likely because I have passed through these forests myself.

    1. Thanks for stopping in my part of the woods, Kim.

  12. Oh I know that loon song so well. You captured a moment and pulled a memory for me, well written.

  13. Surely this is a site well worth seeing.