“Madness of the Falling Trees” – poem by Christopher Goudreau


magpie looking left

The magpie’s beak is spared of thoughts

Half seen and understood

Whereas harvest fields have grown awry

Beyond the pardoned woods

Now strange wonders come of old

Dew drops split the knife

Everywhere is nowhere found

If nothing holds its plight

The knife scraps the surface

And the bark begins to crack

Held inside a praying hollow

Where the spirits fold their wrath

Succumbs to worse as deeper pierces

The womb from which it wrought

Foundry of a certain fate

And for all is but a thought

“Be you a maverick or a slight of man”

Says magpie now for seen

“Or the bloody howl of a mother dear”

“In earnest I ask of thee”

“Be you an image from far or near”

“From worldly pages turned”

“No, I fear that I am indeed with fault.”

“For my reflection is unearned”

“I see a knife in your weakened hands”

“From sap to broken fall”

“Be you a creature of faint desire”

“Kneeled with jest forestalled”

No answer from this strange delusion

And no wind upon a breath

Just callused eyes and empty speech

From moments that digress 

 “What be this madness that escapes my grasp?”

“What ill and pale delight?”

“What symbol of day and night consumed?”

“What branch has fallen sight?”

“Tis madness that the trees are falling”

“From the wrong edge of your knife”

“Where for the sky to hold her head below”

“The clouds you would entice”

A word escapes the sullied lips

Stark as winter fields

And the magpie flies away to fall

Where dead its answer nears


(Note: the photo is from an embrodery site: afewembroiderydesigns.com/australian%20birds/… – an interesting contrast to the tone of the poem…)


One thought on ““Madness of the Falling Trees” – poem by Christopher Goudreau

  1. I wrote this poem in a different fashion by which i normally write poetry. This poem sort of wrote itself. I had been reading a lot of medieval literature, mostly Canterbury Tales. So with that in my mind the format for this poem just fell into place. I created this poem with the mindset that it would explore the idea of madness within society. I created two characters, the magpie and the unnamed villain to represent two distinct aspects of the human psyche. In the end i am proud to have written this, i feel that it represents a turning point in my writing (for better or worse).

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