The buds are swelling on the small lilac in the dooryard. This morning's golden light glanced off the smooth brown twigs of new growth coming on the plum tree. The world is preparing for its Winter Sleep, but new growth always comes in the harsh peace of the frozen Dark.
Some animals forage and feed, stuffing themselves to prepare for hibernation. On this December day, I find myself ravenous not for food, but for poetry. I started with my favourite snack: the Glasgow Herald poetry blog. Then it was over to the Reflectionary, where--oh surprise and delight--another poem greeted me. Now I'm about to be late for work, but my bardic belly is oh-so-well-fed...
And later today, I'll post some bard-work of my own.
I'm not sure when I wrote the following poem-- it might have been a couple of years back at an agricultural conference, because I recently discovered it on a scrap of hotel-logo notepaper tucked inside a book of other people's poems, and that's the last time I remember going to a hotel for anything! The poem was most likely written in Spring, in the church season of Lent, as there is a pre-Easter sense to the imagery. Now it's Advent, and I'd hesitate to include it here just now, except that Advent used to be known as "Winter-Lent," a natural time to slow down and hush and reflect before the next burst of hopeful, lively busy-ness.
Opening the hard-nailed, desperate claws
the must-have, must-work-hard,
the churn and trudge, chop and slop and strive
must manage scare commodities like turnip blood...
Taking off the hobnailed, ragged boots
exposing soles--and soul--
to air again, then...
turning tiptoe, shuffle slow, or spin
daring dearest dance
letting ground gather me in
again, again, again
Listening to land--
the tattered patter-song
the deep roots wrapping me
the waters whispering
the earth's warmth stirring me
like lichen, lily, lark
(copyright MaineCelt 2008)