Mark Tredinnick / Poetry

The Love Song of the Forest For the Field

For Anne
                                     You are the dance
                  I prayed for, my love, and I am the prayer
    That danced you free.
                                     I am the supper
                  You earned, Beloved, dancing
                                     All of time down to its knees. You are
      The forest in my blood and the wildness
                    In my woods, in my leaves. And I?
        I am whatever it takes to make
                                     Your grove my groove; I am the blue
  In your distances; the stranger in your trees and
                  The water in your well; I am
                                     The muse in your music,
                      The list in your listening, the wolf at
                                                     Your door,
                                                                     and kissing,
                                     We steal each other’s
                  Voices and with them smith a silver
  Stream, the silence
                                     that’s been running
                  Under all our selves, and all along.
                                     I am the fire in your grate,
      My love, and you are the warmth
                  I make there. We are the very house,
        In fact, of love, and tonight we are
                                     Its only guests, and we are the drunken
Ground it burns to all around the sober edges
                  Of our unpremeditated delight.
                                     I am the wilderness
                      In your underworld, where I cried
                                     And cried,
                                     Not knowing your name,
                  But knowing you would come. And now
        You are every broken
                                           Step I take inside
                         The old growth of our unregenerate
                                               Freedom. You’re the water
                  In my well, the birds in my bath;
                                     You’re the butcher
                      And the baker and the fingers in my till;
                  And I? I am the curses on your
                                                     Tongue, the holes in your pocket,
   The birds on your unruly conference call; and your lips
                    Are a thirst that all the rivers
                                     In all the worlds
                                                 Will never quench. And
                                     Oh, I kiss the pieces
                  Of you whole, you say; the whole
   Of you to pieces.
                                       I fall apart
               In you, I say, and apart from you
                            I stay nowhere and I am no one;
        Except that in all the world, I am
                                              All the words
                  That say you best. I am the dreams
                                                    That wake you up and drink you
                  Down, and I am the body that runs away
                                     With your lawless soul.
                                                                     I am the sentences
                                                 You serve, and I am all your thankless
                                                                     Against banality.

© Mark Tredinnick

© Poem and Dish

© Poem and Dish

A note by Mark Tredinnick:

This poem belongs to Anne, to whom it’s dedicated. It began between us in a correspondence of a very old-fashioned kind, conducted, though, mostly via Facebook, that newfangled medium, and I forget who said what first. Out of our messaging we fashioned ourselves, and we smithed a voice that migrates like birds and nests like eagles and swims silver like salmon. One moment in love, one is the lover, the next the beloved; one moment, the apple, next moment the tree. We don’t so much make love as let love make us. And meeting the Beloved, Rumi has said, is not so much meeting someone new as remembering someone one always knew, someone one always longed for, and had let slip. Love Others us; it finds us out; it gives us to another, who shows us who we are and becomes us and gives us back in exchange for herself. This poem is the fluid exchange of gifts and mysteries of love, longings and belongings, ice and fire, that love is. No approach works so well for saying Love, and being what love is on the page, as metaphor and utterance rendered erotically and made over into a vivid geography, a loving place. And this is what I have tried to do here, shaping a lovers’ dialogues, half my words stolen from my Beloved’s mouth, into a small landscape of utterance. Celebrating in the world’s shapes and forms and masks and moments, the love that saves one’s life and gives it back to that world, whose organising principle, whose divinity, is Love.

9 thoughts on “The Love Song of the Forest For the Field

  1. Mark and Anne – so much to love about this poem, it’s genesis, the way it lies on the page, the metaphors…
    We don’t so much make love as let love make us.
    Mark, I’ll hold that thought today and whenever I remember to call it up.

  2. Yes, lucky me. Graced by this man. My tear drinker, my Startle, my shepherd of every light love keeps on mountains. You’re the autumn burning in my forest. How the forest burns with fall. I’m a waking bear in spring wood. You’re the silver salmon jumping from the spring river of my skin. Heaven has nothing to wear but you and I. Thank you for you, my gracious Beloved. Day is fat on the tree when you’re near, ready to be picked and eaten. All my other days slowly fallen at your feet.

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