Prodigal Soul

Life had become a no-man’s land
bristling with blackened stumps
and fallen trunks, an ancient bog
where once a forest grew – until the fog
of despair doused the light
that had burned strong and bright,
destroyed by passion out of control.
Shrouded peat was pocked with charcoal
and twisted roots eroded toxic soil.
Between blackened tentacles
a glint appeared, a phoenix
ready to raise its pinions
and fly again, a prodigal soul.

Kim M. Russell, 2018

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My response to dVerse Poets Pub Poetics: Soul Gazing, also linked to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Tuesday Platform

Paul has shared a video clip and lyrics from a Waterboy’s tune, from which the prompt for tonight’s Poetics has been birthed. He would like us to write soulful poems, soul gazing haibun, soul-filled sonnets, soul-soup-mélanges, stories of Motown soul, and for added inspiration, has shared a quote from Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom, by John O’Donohue:

“Once the soul awakens, the search begins and you can never go back. From then on, you are inflamed with a special longing that will never again let you linger in the lowlands of complacency and partial fulfilment. The eternal makes you urgent. You are loath to let compromise or the threat of danger hold you back from striving toward the summit of fulfilment.”


63 thoughts on “Prodigal Soul

  1. How we are given chances to grow from death and bogs of nothingness! We tend to think of wildfires from the anthropomorphized perspective (mainly bad for real estate and for aesthetic purposes) but they are actually the forest’s way of long-term self-management and regeneration.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So beautiful here in the States we often burn over field s, foredts, etc to clear out the brush and make way for green to grow. I love the prodigal soul riding towards forgiveness and new groeth. Besutiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. When they clear cut the trees it leave the land like a forest fire hit it. In Eastern NC they clear cut the swamps with big machines that grab the trees and saw them off all in one operation. Our insatiable appetite will not let it stop. Love the bog picture!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We don’t have many big forests in Norfolk, mainly woods, but the nearest is Thetford Forest, which is on the way out of Norfolk towards London. It’s beautiful and I wouldn’t like to see big machines at work there. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so glad I did not see the photo before I read the poem. Seeing the photo, after the reading, was like experiencing the poem again. Seeing the dark of the words, the shadows of fire, the rebirth and all the other elements of your poem visually. Such a rush.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. kaykuala

    ready to raise its pinions
    and fly again, a prodigal soul.

    Life goes on in a merry-go-round. One gets caught in its clutches along the way and nothing can be done to avoid it!


    Liked by 1 person

  6. I like the pace and flow of this, as well as the phoenix message. Almost counter-intuitive that the old must be burned away to make way for new growth, isn’t it? I feel the vibe here.


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