Poetry Reading: THE CALL OF PAN, by Barbara Grace Lake

THE CALL OF PAN

© 2015

Barbara Grace Lake

I heard a piping in the wood –

Haunting, calling me

To follow if I dare.

I heard it in the dawn

As misty sunlight gently touches

Tips of trees when first aroused

And leaves are freshest.

Mounds of grassy thickets

Crunch beneath my feet

From laden dew.

Was it a melody I heard?

Or did my ears transform

The play of rushing wind

Through forest harps

Into a psychic sense of sound?

There, again, elusive,

Drifting music almost heard

Above a dancing springlet

Leaping briefly, sparkling

In a shaft of stabbing sun.

There, half seen beyond the trees

Disguised by by gloom and mist,

A presence in the mossy coolness

Of a hidden forest alcove,

An impression of a shadowed form –

Tricks of patterned light and solitude

Upon an urban sense

Unguarded and disarmed?

Or bounding figure, demigod,

Seductive, beckoning?

I followed only to the glade

Emptied of all sense and sound

But that bewitching flute.

Inhibited, afraid of life and love,

The siren pipes insistently

Awakened rhythmic chords.

The man/beast dances, arms caress,

His music quickens, throbs

With every pulsing beat

Responding, yielding, ohhh –

And he was gone.

The silence palpable, pulled down the night.

I cried in lonely grief

Not knowing if I cried

For loss of innocence.

And in the day’s new warmth

I stumbled from the woods

Into the arms of future love.

I simply told a worried face

“I lost my way.”

I’ve often felt his presence

Though his fluting calls me not.

Now are my children grown

And theirs are of an age to question,

Hesitate, take fearful, longing steps.

Beware the pipes of Pan

For on that pathway deep within the wood,

So perilously strange,

The bud will open to return

Unharmed – but not unchanged

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