Tree Man Writes His Hands Into the Sky

the eye of the wood
like the face of the devil
rises above the house

the maid wood calls
her rise

how many years now?
maybe 500
long enough to remember how it is
when your trees come back

Yggdrasil means terrible hanging tree

inside of your house
inside of your eye
the pendant dancer trembles in her rise
over the mist stem

the vision out from this world
you watchman over my ship
man tree terrible danging deep under the earth

the shaman painting sand
photographing the warning devil in your face

all the things that you might do and be
all the things you were
before being born

Druid true–the same word–
hunting the enemy
themselves? some other? both?
peeking through the bark

the white elm sheen
curved inward round their neck
a woman’s skin
raven feathers
the mother-you

mother-you between the right and shadow
painter dipping in his blood
the root wrapped tight around your foot
painting in the sky the devil’s vein wrapped locks

mother-you inside the heart
beating sticky round and dark
mother sticky in your light you found lies in your sleep

I who tell you
am not me
my voice is fickle
sound cut from a storm
shadowed out
cut and wrapped
for burning
but not yet:

mother-you go back
terrible oak
writhing down into the mass beneath the earth
succoring her vales unknowable

mother-you between us
tell me how can I speak?

the terror wipes my mind
I’m left only with sputters

bend with me beneath the dreaming staves of the sky
how you were meant for roaming tighter in the electric writing
cubic amperage branches
looking for the keyhole in the door to the south

Robin Wyatt Dunn was born in Wyoming in 1979. You can read more of his work at Read other articles by Robin.