The Mythical Truth

‘There are many good poems based on myths. Lots of these use Greek or Roman myths. Consider Tennyson’s Ulysees or this more modern example by A.E. Stallings. But today I challenge you to write a poem based on a non-Greco-Roman myth. You could write a poem inspired by Norse mythology, or perhaps by one of these creatures from Japanese legend. Every time and place and culture has its myths and legends, so there’s plenty to choose from.’

This was the prompt given to us.  Now I am not someone who reads up on myths. So I took a little help from the ‘creatures from Japanese legend‘ category and chose one which was called as ‘Kodama’ which means ‘a spirit that lives in a tree’.

800px-SekienKodama

Come near me or stand near me

But don’t you dare try to cut me

If you try, do so at your peril

If you are cursed, it is coz of your peril

I am just an ordinary tree

Is what you’re thinking, I can see

But think as so, if you wish

Don’t blame me, if you perish

Go to the mountains if I’m lying

And see for yourself if I’m declining

What you’ll see is more of me

Not fading but growing aplenty

Try your luck to kill me off

You see I’m called as a mountain God

So no matter what ever you try

I will bleed but will not die

I’m sure you’re wondering ‘who am I’

I said I’m a tree but is it a lie

I’m still a tree, don’t you worry

It’s the kodama (spirit) that’s living inside of me

I am passed down from the elder trees

Protected for generations from people, see

This spirit of mine comes in various forms

I could be a beast or a human form

I’m sure you think this isn’t real

It’s all a myth and superficial

Are you willing to take that risk?

To chop me off and then get cursed

©NJ

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