There is a further hidden door to unlock.
The ancient way to it lies through a tangled forest.
The color green is important. No rest,
until she finds the right tree. Its stock
will be of uncommon kind. Not pausing, she'll walk
up to it and embrace it. A kind of test.
Mushrooms will grow from between its roots. The nearest
door will perhaps be closed by a glacial rock.
Of course this is all guess-work. She
is still looking. Hand shading her face
she stands attentive on the river's shore,
her mind gathered, eyes quick to see.
A willow, shifting, could reveal a space
empty, and the light-filled emptiness beyond the door.
Preparing to enter the same green space,
tree and woman suffer, exchange, know.
What more? Air parts for both, although
fluid, it interpenetrates all. Their place
is in each other prepared, there is a trace
of sap in her veins already, the overflow
of attentive longing. She has begun to grow
from its roots. Leaves surround her face.
When tree and woman touch and become one,
green wood will speak in tongues of the mind
that, wordless, grows and flowers and branches. See,
extending threadlike fingers they've begun
to seek their food from earth, and rooted, find
the common life of woman and of tree.
When she explores the forest it is her own
tangled hair that grows green on a swaying fir.
The salty tidal river is for her
the blood in her veins made manifest, plainly shown
by the eye's light. A worn, moss-covered stone,
the forest's lodestone, rough granite altar,
attracts circling currents of beast and star
to an archaic ceremony. Walking alone
in her brown body, sweet pine-smelling earth,
while birds, her senses, dart through summer air,
she seeks that stone hidden in the green, profound
lost center of herself. A new birth
and a blood sacrifice are foretold where
the stone is rolled away, the door is found.
The river began by flowing through her night.
Where it was, she was not. She was the shore
it lapped against, she was the sustaining floor
it wore away. At first she tried to fight
against its encroaching. Later the dreamed sight
of smooth green water filling the door
to her room by night was soothing. She felt it pour
through the cracks it had made in her sleeping body, in bright
streams. It seemed to her to be rising higher.
Then in broad daylight she noticed her feet were wet.
A spring had bubbled up from under the ground.
That night, in the heat of mid-summer she slept by fire.
But listening in her sleep, could not regret
the soft hissing that told her the flame was drowned.
She takes the sky's reflection like a pool.
Soaring on wind she mirrors back a bird.
An echo calls. She tosses it a word.
Her scarecrow wears the motley of the fool.
Her bones are hollow. Song becomes a tool
to tune a random breath to something heard.
Where two are dancing she will be the third
dancing unseen. The forest is her school.
A tree, she learned the alchemy of green.
In worlds of rock she learned to part and flow.
Of earth and water, water gave her more.
To will the dark. Abandon all that's been
for what's to come, to be the dark and know
the world flows through her. She's become a door.