Beneath the oak tree


Beneath the oak tree
Your wild life ended
And mine began.
We heard the shot ring out
As we stood beside the pool
Where a girl had once drowned.
Her father left this place
To rust and fallow
And this is how we found you.

Barbed wire caught
In your antlers tangled
Like a crown of thorns.
How long were you trapped
Before the farmer found you?
Angry at your needless suffering
He released you,
Came down to our circle
Said you were our problem now.

We came as men
Young at heart and earnest
To clear the pool
To free the spirit
To free ourselves.
We did not know you would call us
Our hearts heavy up the hill
Carrying the pain
Of a thousand twisted fantasies
Dreaming of initiation.

Blood splatters
On the leaves
Your glassy eye accuses
Demands we consecrate your body
Do something useful
To honour your short life
And slow death
So our lives might be quick
And our souls might be found.

As water flowed
From the pool we ran
Like children
Through the woods.
With muddy hands we took your skin
And buried the rest
Beneath the tree
Making promises in the fading light.
Silently I walked away
And into darkness I began to fall.

Ever your spirit
Calls me home
Down into earth
Down into soul.
Your skin became two drums
Two sacred heartbeats
Animus and anima.
In their call
I begin to hear
The truth at the centre
Of the image I was born with.

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