The Long Green Woman

I know a long green woman,

whose robes trail

along the sides of mountains,

follow the paths of rivers,

linger in forest shadows.

Whose face is high,

beyond the mountain’s reach.

Her sheer garments,

grim greys and brilliant blues,

disguised, in sky and clouds.

A long green woman,

whose train

softly caresses my face,

in the night,

with the whisper of dew

on the grass.

Where I stare, I see her turning,

her billowing sheers sweep round her.


She turns and gazes at me,

turns once more,

and all sweeps away.

Her veils,

trailing over the earth,

far to the east,

to foothills;

down river valleys,

to the sea;

far to the north,

along mountain ridges,


drifting gently,


I know her by her passage.

She, moving,

Unfelt, unnoticed,


along path and edge,

turning leaves

to twisting tops

or whirl-a-gigs.

I see her lying at the edge,

between earth and sky,

resting for weeks,

her cloaks covering the land.

She broods in thunder clouds,

strikes out sparks to ground,

terrifies horses –

run pell-mell

across the range.

Whose tears are shed too soon,

whose floods cascade mud and rocks

rushing, running, down, down,

cracking, grinding, roaring.

I know a long green woman

who teases me, with glimpses of her,

as she turns.

Does she have blood-red lips

and coal black eyes;

are her fingers long and slender,

adorned with earthly gems?

I feel her smile at me

and you

and all of us.

I know a long green woman

who sends scents

of grass and poplar

through spring’s air.

Who, over time, her time

has carved the ocean’s edge.

Whose powers of attraction

draw up red-burning magma

from earth’s seething depths

and spill it down

volcano sides.

I know a long green woman

who speaks in thunder, quake and flood.

The same

who kisses awake

the butterfly

in summer sun.

I know a long green woman

who dives

into ocean depths;

whose trains

churn currents.

Who swims

in the blue-green bore,

following tide’s ebb and flow—

veils turn to foam.

I know a long green woman

whose fingers touch the stars

whose shroud sweeps

through black space

as she turns away again.

I find her at the beach,

by the water’s edge

where salt meets sand

and stays in solution.

She floats in the green-yellow light of afternoon,

under the trees,

by the quiet pool,

where fish watch

for flies to settle.

Lowering, cool,

she descends,

as coal-black light,

over the tree-covered hills.

I see her, driving toward me,

in the whirling, dizzying,


squall of snow

When she is cold in midwinter,

I find her

in my mountain cave

by the fire,

though she flees from my sight,

ever turning.

I know a long green woman –

whispers, roars,

teases, soothes,

moistens, dries,

thrills, frightens,

consoles, elates—

whose presence

makes the fullness.


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