Metsän henki

In the Ft. Rich woods

At the beginning of this month, I’d intended to post a poem — mine or someone else’s — every day in honor of National Poetry Month. I fell down on the job. But today it’s still April. Besides, my friend Kathy asked me to post one.  So here’s one.

Metsän henki

She stands outside & in me,
a flicker beckoning
at the inmost limit of vision
where the blind spot is insufficiency
of self-knowing.

She leans to whisper in my breath:
“Heed my green flow in your blood;
drink the wind; inspire
the medicine of trees.”

Leaves flutter, inviting.
She is visible in the dappled breeze
among the white trunks.
At the back of my mind she is visible,
backgrounding all.

[written in 2000; published in Teresa McPherson, ed., Transformations, Anchorage, AK: Radical Arts for Women, 2002.]

About this poem

Metsän henki (Finnish) means forest spirit.  Hence, an alternative name for my central “household god,” the forest spirit Mielikki, who is metsolan emäntä: Mistress of Woodland. The name Mielikki combined the word mieli = heart, mind, consciousness, desire, etc., plus the suffix of endearment –kki.

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