I Took A Walk Into The Woods

Joel Michael Herbert
2 min readJan 24, 2024

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Photo by Brian Kushner from Audobon Photography Awards

I took a walk into the woods
in the woods there was a tree
in the tree there was a bird
and the bird, he sang so sweet
I asked him how he came that way
then he cocked his head at me
then I woke to find it all a dream

I took a walk into the city
a woman passed me by
so wrapped up in her own heartbreak
she didn’t notice heaven cry
I asked her how she came that way
and how her troubles came to be
then I woke to find it all a dream

I took a walk into the desert
where no soul was around
I thought if I could find the silence
then only God would be the sound
began to wail to my Creator
and I begged her to be free
but then I woke to find it all a dream

I took a walk into the dream
in the dream there was a wood
in the wood there was a tree
on the tree there was a boy

stripped and lashed tight to the tree trunk
his life was almost gone
but this time through it was no dream

I asked him how he came that way

he said it started with a bird lighting on his face
a phoenix rising from the water, then disappeared without a trace
he said his eyes had seen the woman fallen down in her disgrace
he saw my soul out in the desert crying out for grace
the great curse for all the ages he was bound in time to be
to save the broken from this mindless dream

I took a walk into the country
and I found a shallow grave
dug in haste a body laid there
but I could not find a name
it was the young man from the woodlands
and I soft began to cry
there where the curse for all the ages had given up his life

then I heard a voice behind me
and I turned and saw the man
but all at once he was the woman, the forest and the sand
on his shoulder was a blue jay
that looked quite like a dove
and in her eyes she held a perfect love

I asked him how he came that way
and if he could make me free
and then I woke to find it all

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Joel Michael Herbert

Husband. Father. Artist. Storyteller. Armchair Theologian. Advocate, activist and politician. Gryffindor. [neuro]Divergent.