Thursday, May 01, 2008

Beltane (a poem triptych)


his shoulders,
turning beneath
the pound of the falls

his limbs, as long
and awkward and powerful and restless
as a new-born colt’s

his chest,
a marble sculpture
only time can erode

his sex a rainspout,
God’s design for the apex
of a water-creature’s wave-slipping

his eyes a gray seal’s,
music-loving, lambent,
often mischievous

his grin the radiance
of forest mornings,
the river’s promise to the rocks it breaks

The May Field

the sweaty work
of fastening a belt about
the boy’s middle

the loose shirt
over the limbs: the festival shirt,
bright and flowered,
a bower on the shoulders,
on the breast a third sun rising

new white linen breeches
flash in the sun,
a rhythm of running

he leans over his legs
to lace his buckskin boots,
new-cut for the day’s wandering

he has his lovers,
lads and lasses, and his blanket
will not lie cold by the hearth tonight

born at the dark solstice,
the pride of seventeen summers,
he loves laughter;
his only lack
is darkness’ deep patience,
the barrow-waiting, the long sleep—
but time will bring such shadows,
and the toughening
of his bard’s tongue, an edge to his wit

Night Revels

these fires, tall on the hills,
beacon the day’s end;
heart and bones warmed by dancing,
skin flushed, breath quickened, flames
blush the young ones leaping

the fair festival clothes discarded,
bonfire and naked dance are enough;
some stand blanket-wrapped and watching,
but he tires not

the bower-god’s son,
he horse-prances,
mane-tosses, wild-leaps,
long-laughs, deep-drinks of wine-sweat

even old men who lifelong love their wives
lust for him, tonight,
in this banefire-light,
the rampant green god himself awakened

all night the fires spiral
every hill a flickering star
echoing older lights, these circling lanterns,
the Northern Star

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