Catechism for a Witch’s Child

by J.L. Stanley

When they ask to see your gods
your book of prayers
show them lines
drawn delicately with veins
on the underside of a bird's wing
tell them you believe
in giant sycamores mottled
and stark against a winter sky
and in nights so frozen
stars crack open spilling
streams of molten ice to earth
and tell them how you drink
a holy wine of honeysuckle
on a warm spring day
and of the softness
of your mother who never taught you
death was life's reward
but who believed in the earth
and the sun
and a million, million light years
of being

©1986 J.L.Stanley

J L Stanley

J.L. Stanley writes: I was born in Spokane, Washington, and after many travels, eventually ended up in Northern California in the San Francisco Bay Area where I work in the software industry. I am also an artist and single parent who was blessed to raise the most wonderful son.
I think I've always been a poet...some years the words flow, other years they're in that chaos state before birth. I have had many inspirations and muses in the course of my life - my loves and friends and family, my insatiable curiosity getting me into trouble, but most especially I am inspired by that spirit of being which has always seemed to me to flow through everything. Sometimes, if I'm lucky, it speaks to me. It's a tender, gentle voice at times, and at other times a ravaging cry... is it Dionysus, Ariadne, the sun or moon, my ancestors, my own soul? The world and life become more mysterious and unknowable the older I get. My collected works of poetry - Labyrinth Poems - are posted on my site at
J L Stanley

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