Friday, June 29, 2012


It is late spring and too warm by far for the
season, so that blue vapors settle in the
mystic Northwoods pines, bring to mind  
ancient gods and those who invented them.

The waters of the timeless lake unfold
from your skin, so that the fracture of
sudden sunlight as you emerge
drapes you in furious diamonds.

Water sculpts us and absorbs us,
christens and absolves us, but that may
not be enough; it is only water after all.

Vast clouds approach and the thunder
rolls out in a way that I have never heard:
As the storm nears there is a constant
insistent rumble. It goes on so for 30 minutes

without pause. The worst of the rain skirts us,
we learn later, still soaked in the memory of a
drenching downpour, its sound the
enlightened ohm that empties all thoughts.

At night, the loons defy language in their
absurd haunting calls, intone wood-deep
chants from which certain spells might be
cast when mixed with native ingredients.

I am an old witch,
haggard in her tumbled ways,
soaking sumac and drying herbs
against the backdrop of barking wolves.

There are more elements than we can count.
Earth, air, fire, and water are all
one and the same. This is the only secret.

c. 2012, by Martin A. Bartels (working draft)
Part of my new collection, "Unlanguage"

1 comment:

  1. Ah so this is Northwoods, Winconsin. Beautifully done, quite wonderfully mystical and echoes of our unusual weather?

    Anna :o]