Transformed to wood,
I am a deathless secret
encased in spellbound bark.
But there is solace in the rowan.
I am alone, except for history
conjured back as a wraithlike chant
within a church of crumbling stone,
fallen beams, and torn roof.
The dark song of the dead still haunts
the place where spirits whispered
fragments of their lives scattered
in crushed seeds upon my leaves.
Their memories, melted jewels
decanted into a bowl of dust.
But today, a witching wind
howls through my branches,
bends them to its dour song,
snaps twigs and sheds confettied
leaves, sprinkling headstones, sedge,
the folded wings of a marble child
serene in saintly sorrow.
The sky is cleaved by lightning
that stings this slender bole to rifts
and singes bark to flame-crackle.
Cinders flutter like jittery bats
trapped in an updraft, and clustered
berries sizzle and burst
like firecrackers at my dying roots.
Where once the staves of wood
spelled runes, and leafy branches
sheltered the tomb’s decay
of tumbled dreams and shadow lands,
they now slump as broken stumps
upon the mulch. Ruined,
I have become a stranger to myself
and any magic that dwelt within me
is now a blackened pyre.
No songbird visits my burned
and severed limbs,
only the circling caw of crows
to resonate a darker vision.
Night awakens to the silver screech
of misted moon and shattered curse,
my firebird soul released at last
to leave this desolate domain.
BIO: Marina Lee Sable’s poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in ChiZine, Scheherezade’s Bequest, Tales of the Talisman, Unspoken Water, Linger Fiction, Bull Spec, Sounds of the Night, parABnormal Digest, Bête Noire, Niteblade, and other magazines.