Prayer to the Goddess

Prayer, Paradox,  Goddess


Rachael Z. Ikins


Swamp warmth, steamy surprise

follows months of snow-hummock piled

under hemlock lace.


Clacking, squeaks, soprano,

basso profundo, male frogs waken.

Female Female Female

background dissonance, harmony;

Canadian geese discuss flat fields below,

cardinals cheer, phoebes ask, woodpeckers code,

warblers liquid air. Renewal. Songs

of possession.


Fiddleheads’ clitorii uncurl, nestled between

copper down, labial moss. Everywhere life,

decomposition, paradoxic eroticism, this dance–forest and bog,

flares my nostrils until I, too, ache, my centered red

bud, shiny, hard as a partridge berry.


Jack-in-the-pulpit phalluses above testicular leaf pouches.

Dog tooth violets’ soft, yellow teeth. I take his

left hand.  Naked, we pray, this cathedral.

His knees, mine,  my petals unfold.

his slippery, plum-ripe length.


We worship. Overhead ancient spruces glimmer,

kaleidoscopic guardians.  Frantic fecundity,

transparent oak leaves above us, last year’s piled soft

beneath. We cry out for peace, love

in the forest. Amen. Yes, before it is too late.



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