Petrified warrior, turned to wood,
who died erect, right where he stood,
a shaman, warrior, or a brave,
is silent, deep in forest grave.
What does he see?
What does he hear?
Beyond that tree
is there a deer?
Does danger travel to his ear,
or is he watching you and me?
This guardian in wilderness,
what power could this thing possess?
Could spirit strength still lie within?
I feel a force in its stone skin.
How did he die?
Can he survive?
Is he a spy?
Is wood alive?
When such an object may revive,
this eerie feel, I can’t deny,
Fear grows inside.
While out in the woods, I spotted a broken tree that seemed to have a head on its remaining trunk, so I captured its image. Besides the head, I could make out the light outline of an arm, and my imagination also perceived an animal pelt draped across its shoulder. Ah, I thought, here is a warrior or shaman, frozen in time. Hence, the inspiration for this poem.
This will become part of my Animated Stills series.
This poem is a Duodecatain.
A duodecatain is a format of my own creation. I searched the internet for anything like it, and didn’t find one. So, to the best of my knowledge, I claimed and named it. A decatain is a stanza of ten lines. This format has two, thus the “duo” designation. Here are the rules:
1. The meter is either iambic or trochaic, or a mixture of both.
2. There are two 10 line stanzas followed by a rhyming couplet.
3. The lines are a mix of tetrameter and dimeter with the following syllable counts:
8888444488 8888444488 44
4. The rhyme scheme in each decatain is:
aabbcdcddc (but the rhymes can vary between the stanzas).
5. The couplet rhyme is ee.
Note that I used questions in this poem, but that is not a requirement.
This photograph was taken by the author himself on October 29, 2016.