A woodland king lies dead

by Dave

A woodland king lies dead
this wicked windy day.
His length and width collapsed
in mounds of fraudulent earth

He fought them to the end,
shook hard his hoary head,
tossed about his rusty crown.
His autumn garland trammelled

They gathered deeply black
flanked on each horizon.
darting bold blows and trust,
the foot soldiers and the serfs.

The cavalry rode in
On heaving heavy horses.
Beating gale force and fierce
tail end of a maelstrom

He shook with trembling rage
Beat with mighty tresses
braced hard his powerful trunk
against fire and falling axe

Ravaged by age and wear
the russet crown and septre.
The sting of blowing bees
Brought the king to his knees

toes torn lose of bitter black
feet encased, imprisoned still
in chains of cloying clay.
His mantel lost, undone

His voice so long silent
mute from seed to leaf
then drawn out long and loud
a violent parting grief

And now the king lies dead
waiting for the butchers,
and their iron teethed tools
his limbs battered and broken

I can not watch his end
reduced to detritus
the winds emasculation
of the stately maple.


-Dave Kavanagh


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