The Horrible Forest

The Horrible Forest



children hang along a tree-lined street.
faint footsteps on pine needles.
thumps, over stumps, so low —
bleakly, sometimes faintly.
shuffles repeat. groans. more suffering.

the children swing deeply into the branches.
time to hide. quick — to a place without life.
the beast of the earth was released.
a time of darkness befalls the community.


the town is now a forest.
communion has been rare.
at the popular lake shore,
picnics no longer.

mourning sounds permeate the wind.
familiar voices; it is a requiem.
for one hundred years,
they have loved and shared
from afar, in fright.

now, their cocked hats hide their eyes.
lingering chaos severed many ties,
for words could not unravel paranoid lies.
voices of neighbors, no longer recognized.
there’s a pain in their middles —
famished? hollow?
no, just empty.


after each  is renamed,
no more elemental silence.
sagging, swollen monotony
replaced by a dignified pattern of sound.
roots melted, beneficence revived.
developed from dirt, but not dirty —
they are crystals waiting to be polished.

far-off fringe of dawn floods in unfixed flashes.
some long to lock limbs.
others require un-regimented rearrangements.
autonomous potential that was buried away,
once more shall breed accomplishment.

they roll and crawl forward and
once more, become capable of
merriment, humanity and fellowship:
reawakening civilization.


Hear this on chirbit


Written for:


Image credits: The Horrible Forest by *pesare on deviantart

About zongrik

For those of you who do not know the handle "zongrik," that would be Bat-Ami Gordin. Most people call me "Tammy." Bat-Ami means "daughter of my nation" in Hebrew. It's a heavy name to carry around. I answer to either name. I also answer to "mama." Some Basic Things about me: Animal lover, mom, poet/writer, dramatic soprano, photographer, teacher/tutor, CERT/Technician and, oh yeah, aerospace engineer. I consider myself "The Astro-Poet." To learn more about the origins of the word "zongrik" see whats-a-zongrik?

Posted on April 6, 2013, in D’verse Poets Pub, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 23 Comments.

  1. Awesome story telling, Tammy! Very well done!

  2. A wonderfully woven tale well told!

  3. wow. that is epic…love the rejuvenation there in the end…the revival many years later….really fine bit of story telling…

  4. Frighteningly real. Reminds me of the children forced to flee Europe during the War.

  5. A nice dark urban fairytale! Well told!

  6. …it was like a premonition that is already happening… scary how we have come to lose everything in exchange of short lived pleasures…. now def the world needs to reactivated… reanimate… reinvent… & the forests need to be rearranged… mind to be reinstalled… ah, this is excellent… thanks for sharing this… smiles…

    • i like how you interpreted this to this unleashed beast being our propensity to desire short lived pleasures. i didn’t see it that way, but you are so totally right.

  7. This is wonderful…I rushed to listen to it, but get the last post you had on my computer….
    will have to figure out how to get to this one…really enjoyed listening to … oops…not the last one but “kooky kinesthetics” which I enjoyed twice more trying to figure out what I had done wrong !

  8. Third times the charm…got it…now will listen to you read.☺

    • i accidentally clicked on publish before the sound clip was uploaded, and when I create new links, I use an old one, so the old link was still there. sorry for the confusion. the right one should be there now. it took A LOT of times to get it right!! I hope someone appreciates it. 🙂 thanks sooo much for going through the trouble to listen.

  9. Tammy, this was amazing writing. A dense forest of wordplay, an ominous feeling overtaken by new beginnings. Very nicely done – and sorry I’ve fallen off your radar recently. ‘Twas a rough winter of manic depression… THis poem is BRILL. Love, Amy

    • awwww…it’s OK. i hope you feel better. winter can be soooo depressing. you should move to the desert, it’s not as cold, and there’s lots of sunshine all the time in the winter.

  10. It’s Sunday afternoon with me and I’m feeling a little bit sleepy, but reading, listening to this plus the picture has conjured quire a heady set of images in my head (I can see it as a classy animation).

  11. It starts out hauntingly with the children having to scamper away and hide…their community disappearing into non-existense. A cautionary tale perhaps…I like the rejuvenation and reactivation at the end…yes…it’s possible.

  12. very cool story…and i found myself staring at the pic for a while…fascinating….and fascinating what you made of it

    • I wrote the story first. I found the pic to match the story. I was really looking for kids in pine trees lining a city street, but this is what I found. I like it a lot, but it’s not exactly what I was picturing, yet it fits.

  13. My initial impression is that of a season, the darkness, emptiness and hiding in the forest, and then the rejuvenation and reawakening of civilization ~ Will check out the link too ~Thanks Tammy ~

  14. Quietly creepy, then very sad, yet ultimately hopeful – a lot to pack into a single poem. Well done!

  15. Wonderful storytelling. I also enjoy listening to you read your poems (actually you inspired me to start recording mine.)

  16. Scary Reality!

  17. Very cool – and the picture you’ve chosen really adds to the feel of this.

  18. I think this is one of your best, Tammy..Haunting and magical…scary too…Reminds me of a cult film…”Children of the Damned”…You certainly draw the reader in!

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