Monthly Columns

The Poetry of Author David Sparenberg



Before the written word, there was the spoken word.

Before the chronicles of history, there were stories.

Before tabloids and the messy spawn of scandalous gossip, ballads and epic poems sounded in mouths of bards and minnesingers.

Against the blind furies of forgetfulness, arose high cultures of memory.

Long before civilized humanity slumped into pulp fiction and sado-masochistic fantasies, myths were weaving threads of truth into archetypes, extending the dimensions of reality.

Guiding words of fire’s intensity and eloquence resonate joyously through the alchemic laboratories of time!

You who have befriended Tolkien and the Shire, Arthur, Merlin, and voyagers to the Isle of Women, far, far off in the mist of sea and time, far beyond the fated Island of Apples – remember the beauty, questing, and the dreaming of words.



Somebody sang a song.  Song

moved on air

across land, across water.

It was heard far away.

The song sounded

in ears of another.

It brought a voice, sweet

as amber honey

and saying something.

That song

made a stranger’s eyes widen.

That song

entered the heart of a lover.



in the House of Memory

dipping one finger

into a rainbow

into a puddle of gold

remembered the song.

This is how I began

at dawn of day

at the origin of time.

An unknown singer

an Orphic voice

singing to life spontaneously.

Song on the wind!

That is how I will end:

a well in a circle

reflecting a rainbow.




a chant poem for 3 or 4 voices

the whistle the whistle the fiddle the drum

the whistle the whistle the fiddle the drum

the pipe the pipe the fiddle the drum

the pipe the pipe the fiddle the drum

the roads the stones the Emerald the sea

the roads the stones the Emerald the sea

that man standing out

with the sheep on the road

has time on his face

and stout of the land

in his body and soul

the fiddle the whistle the pipe the drum

that girl over there

with the flame of her hair

has the storm of wild sea

in her body and soul

the pipe the pipe the fiddle the drum

the pipe the pipe the fiddle the drum

the whistle the whistle the fiddle the drum

from Galway to Dingle the Emerald o’ sea

from Cork to the Arans- Emerald o’ sea

Sligo to Dublin Emerald o’ sea

the Skelligs to Tara the Emerald o’ sea

the stones the stones the Emerald o’ sea

roads the roads the Emerald o’ sea.

the pipes the fiddle the whistle the drum!




Once I was a rock:

long time I was a rock

living in the way of rock

hard and slow.

Then I became the shadow of a rock.

I shifted many shapes and seasons.

One morning, in conjunction

of a sun and moon, I awoke

to find that I had taken on

the nature of a tree.

My life then was of roots and branches.

I dreamed myself ever closer to the sky.

After I grew intuitive

with the stealth of wolves and

clicking gait of caribou

I became a human body.

Now I cast a human shadow on the ground.

I talk with wind

the vision-memories of my human soul.

I say, “I am a man; I

am a woman.” I ask,

How long will these bones dance together?”

I remember when I was a rock.

I recall having been a shadow.

I remember when I was a tree.

Someday I will remember

telling others in a circle

of this game shaman’s tag.

I will cherish this feeling….


(Photo:Green Man in the Garden by David Sparenberg)


Davis Sparenberg is the author of CONFRONTING the CRISIS: Essays & Meditations on Eco Spirituality (Moon Books).  An international essayist, eco poet and shamanic storyteller, David lives in Seattle, WA in the Pacific Northwest of the United States.