The Power of Words – A Poem

When I open my eyes,

I am in the dark forest again.

The trees around me sigh

as if they are content to have me

returned to them.

I wander among the trees

that I know so well

but it is as if I am seeing them

from a distance.

I can hear a song calling me

and it is taking me deeper

into the forest than I have been before.

I wonder if I’ve walked to the very centre?

It doesn’t surprise me

that there are places within the trees

I do not know. The dark forest

has always been good at changing,

shifting its shape,

until I could not find my way home.

The song pulls me through the trees.

It is as if my feet know the way,

or they’ve been there before.

I often slept within the forest,

who knows where my dreams took me

when I lived within these trees.

The song stops when I find myself

standing in front of a tree

that is unlike any of the others.

There are wide shelves

carved into its trunk

and on the shelves are books

of every shape and size,

all kinds of colours and they

look like jewels in the shadows

of the trees, so foreign and unusual

among the darkness and shadows.

I reach out with a trembling hand

and take a book off the shelf.

When I open it,

words begin to flow from the pages,

stirred by a light breeze that surrounds me.

I can read the words husband, lifetime and love.

When I open another, I can read the words family, support and togetherness.

I open a third and it says creative, ink and paint.

Looking upward, I can see all these words and more

swirling above my head. Thousands of words

filter into the leaves of the blood trees

and as I watch, I can see sun beginning

to shine through the leaves.

I see that the light

which is filtering through the trees,

and as I look, I can see the light

pointing to the way out of the dark forest.

The leaves shrink from the light,

afraid of the lights touch.

I look back to where I came from,

full of shadows and the promise of pain.

I look forwards to where the light

is guiding me and I know that,

though there are still shadows along the path,

the light will lead to safety.

I pull one more book from the shelves

so that I can take it with me

and when I open it, I can see one word

written on its pages:

joy.

I clutch the book to my chest

and walk to where the light

is guiding me home.

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