Behind the Sun (The Oak and the Vine)

Behind the Sun (The Oak and the Vine)
…From ‘Songs of Arcadia’

Raven sits with ruffled feathers,
Stately dancers pass him by.
Bored with stealing tawdry glitter,
Bored with pockets filled with glitter,
What to do with diamond glitter?
Tosses it into the sky.

Raven hunches, preening feathers
Everdark with soot and smoke.
Stole the Lamp, the Evershining,
Gift to Man, the Everwhining,
Scorched by Fate, the Everbinding.
Whole thing meant to be a joke.

Raven grumbles, hoarse and cranky.
Voice no longer sways the heart.
Cursed the dancers’ drunken leaping,
Chased the dancers and their leaping,
From his Gaia, softly sleeping,
Waiting for a song to start.

A new song is coming
The old song will twine
Springtime and Summer
The oak and the vine

Sun in the branches
Moon drunk on wine
Autumn and Winter
The oak and the vine

Raven flying, sharp and restless
Hunts for something new and bright.
Eyes of Gaia’s children watch him
Hide behind the sun to catch him
Do you have the wits to match him?
Mocking laughter, thief of night.

 


A Pookah Encountered on the Spiral Path

A Pookah Encountered on the Spiral Path
… From ‘Travels on the Spiral Path’

He came upon me quickly.
Moving black against the lesser black of night.

Fat spattered in the pan
and crackled in the fire
as potatoes began to cook.
Sparks flew.

I poured whiskey into a bowl
but he did not turn aside.

Dry grass whispered
Dry leaves danced as he passed me by
Caught and suspended between
The earth and sky.

 


Hall of the Raven King

Hall of the Raven King
…From ‘Songs of Arcadia’

The full moon beams with the light of day,
If day were black and white.
The dancers twirl and glitter,
Their finest clothes are dark and bright.

So soon the weary moon will fade,
Emboldened stars will join the throng,
But softly, whispered tales are told
Of empty skies that have no song.

Where grey waves strike the black rock,
Where stars ne’er shine nor sing,
In the shadow of the New Moon rising
Lies the Hall of the Raven King.

Three crooked spires rise above
The broken stone and mumbling sea.
The wounded walls and twisted gates
Forgotten, slump dejectedly.

No lighthouse stands above the cliffs,
No blaze of warning flares.
There are no ships that ply this coast,
No reason for them sailing there.

Where grey waves strike the black rock,
Where stars ne’er shine nor sing,
In the shadow of the New Moon rising
Lies the Hall of the Raven King.

He listened, as a younger man,
To sea-song, deep with hidden spells;
With wind twined ’round his shoulders,
On a beach of shattered, empty shells.

Uncaring seasons split his soul,
And filled it up with bitter brine;
Left him dry as loveless kisses,
Bleak as the oily, winter tide.

Where grey waves strike the black rock,
Where stars ne’er shine nor sing,
In the shadow of the New Moon rising
Lies the Hall of the Raven King.

KJN 3/2009

 


Daughter of Lir

Daughter of Lir

Daughter of Lir
walks free
walking on the wet sand
feeble feet on the shores of Inis Gluaire

Feathers brush the water’s edge
bright wings sweep the sky
silver chains glitter in the mud
under the clear, cold water

Free at last
Thrice three hundred years have flown
Free at last
Empty halls with nettles grown
Free at last

From our need to hear your story once again.

KJN 1/09

 


Birch Interlace

Bone-chilled
Soul-chilled
Sweet with blue silence
Silver sickle edge
burns away
restless heat
of must and may
Touch the deep
Taste the snow in the wood
Birch interlace above
Netting the stars
Over a path to the December sea

 


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