A dark wooded night: The Prodigal Ghost

15 Dec

Wind bristling, snow spitting,

urging my heels to push small pine cones

crunching icy pine needles in my foot prints.


Owls hoot! Shadows dart! Dead limbs snap!

Moonlight guides the rising bend.

Boot soles slide on unseen ice.

I regain balance.

Rousted squirrels brightly tick eventide.

The remaining light fades from dusk,

I find myself at the  forest edge

short of distant village lights.


The wind tears through his over-coat

 threads flutter and shred behind him.

Sleet and ice, preceding new-falling snow

quickly glistens  the way.


Dim lights flicker

through the tunnel of a covered bridge.

               He rode hard and fast on the morning he crossed it.

With anger, pain, and impatient with promises,

               he vowed to return without the empty hands

               that gripped the reins of his departure.


Wood smoke waffles in scented  shifting winds

carrying anticipation awaiting  by the wood stove.


Storm steadily  blowing in a white-out slant

stretches the flame of his swaying lamp.


Following  the tracks that he once made;

never looking back  at his worst now,

or, whatever he thought was his best.

Putting my lamp out,

I stamped my feet on the wooden porch floor

and enter the bright warm farmhouse.


In my welcome, I returned from my pockets,

the path I had taken and the good grace

of a dark wooded night.



Posted by on December 15, 2013 in Children, New England, New Hampshire, Outlaw, Poetry, Zen


Tags: ,

11 responses to “A dark wooded night: The Prodigal Ghost

  1. Talon

    December 27, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    Hope your Christmas was beautiful, ZQ. And I hope there’s a ton of magic inside 2014 for you. 🙂


  2. Poet Laundry

    December 17, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    I enjoyed this trek. Great work!


  3. gautami tripathy

    December 17, 2013 at 9:27 am

    Excellent writing!

    Loved this!

    iced desire


  4. Gabriella

    December 17, 2013 at 8:27 am

    I enjoyed following your walk outside and the contrasting comfort of the warm farmhouse at the end, ZQ!


  5. Talon

    December 17, 2013 at 12:10 am

    Oooo…I can surely relate to this. I feel the chill and I feel the warmth of coming back into the house and being grateful for heat and electricity. This was gorgeous! And thank you, ZQ, for your kind comments on my interview at Poets United and on my poem.


  6. ZQ

    December 16, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    Good grief it’s 7 degrees here, snowing, and you go “tropical” on me 🙂
    By the way, Thanks for stopping by 🙂 🙂 🙂


  7. ZQ

    December 16, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    Thank you Mary and the warmth of the “Pantry” 🙂


  8. ZQ

    December 16, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    Thank you Mam’


  9. dsnake1

    December 16, 2013 at 8:03 am

    even on this tropical night when i am reading this, i feel a chill. 🙂


  10. Mary

    December 15, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    Ooh, you have set this cold scene very well!


  11. Sherry Marr

    December 15, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    I walked along with you through the coldness of weather, and looks behind and ahead…………I ADORE your two closing lines, and the entry into the cheerful warmth of the farmhouse.



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