Poem: Temple Presence

The buck is back this morning.
I watch him picking quietly
and carefully
between the trees
curving antlers
like two branches
among branches.
His back is dusted
with a sprinkling of black fur,
his flanks brown,
his eyes black and watchful.
He is alone today
and so quiet I would have
missed him
except I was looking
out at the priestess rocks
and there he was passing by.
The sky is heavy
with thick clouds
dotted with small patches
of sunlight,
like cracks
in a frosted glass bowl.
The trees stir lazily in the wind,
dry leaves papery
and whispering of change.
Just like that,
November has settled
over the landscape
spreading her wide grey cloak
across the sky
and settling in to wait.
What blackberry leaves remain
are blushed pomegranate red,
the sounds of crows
fill the morning sky.
I have once more stepped
into temple presence,
my breath an offering,
my life a prayer,
the small and wild stories
I find among the leaves
and stones,
my holy book.


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