Daniel Partlow

Rookie (1969 / St. Louis, MO > Westport, CT)

The Deadly Speckled Birches (Smoking/Cigarettes) - Poem by Daniel Partlow

Vika and I walked in a thick forest of birches white and spotted.
And many boulders of white lime with black lichens dotted.
A thick fog rolled slowly toward like a pudding, creamy and clotted.

Something moved behind a fallen speckled log that fog and time have rotted.
A wild pack of Dalmatians ahead of the fog then trotted.
Stalking us through the birches, what evil had these dogs plotted.

We retreated down a hill toward our cabin – our stomachs were knotted.
I grabbed a fallen branch and at the nearest one I swatted
But we can’t shake the pack – was this all the time the Lord allotted?

Now, the leader jumps upon a rock and there he perches.
And I remember the lesson we had been taught at our churches.
God will grant strength and deliverance to he who asks and searches.

And so I ask “God please deliver us from this deadly glade, this pack of birches.”
And the leader howled the order and we ran for the cabin porches.
Charcoal from a smoldering campfire my white shoe besmirches.

And the fog tried to envelop us as we ran in sprints and lurches.
And I wake from my nightmare and all my soul researches.
What warning could this be - the deadly glade of pack, fog, rock, and birches?

I walk outside and light a smoke – and understand what I dreamed
The vicious foggy white and spotted birches are realer than they seemed.
Oh God, grant us the power over addiction, that we may be redeemed.

Note: It has been about a year and half since I had this dream, and I was able to quit shortly thereafter.

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, May 19, 2007

Poem Edited: Monday, February 28, 2011

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