Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Phoenix-- A February Praise-Poem

Among her many gifts, the Celtic Saint/Goddess Bridgit is a Keeper of the Flame. She watches over hearths and forges and every flickering hope. She tends the lamp of learning and tenderly breathes life into the dull embers of creativity. She is a patron of midwives, blacksmiths, and poets.

This morning, the outside thermometer registered fifteen degrees at 7:00 AM. Amidst the challenge of morning chores, the words of a poem hovered, then gathered around me, a knitted scarf of sparks. The year's Dark Half is more than halfway done. There are whispers of survival...perhaps even a faint murmur of spring!


PHOENIX


Hands slowed and stiffened
in the aching, hushed cold
before sun comes...
My body huddles closer,
unwilling to unfold.
In our small barn, a muffled rooster sounds,
His crowing hesitant and slow.

Other animals stir and wake.
Above the sudden, unleashed flurry
of canine play,
the sensible cat shifts
and returns to sleep.

Once outside, our steps sing
brittle and broken
emptily echoing the shatter and scatter of ice,
the dull ring of zinc and tin,
the trough's frozen rim.

We carry the waterers in
to thaw on the broad black expanse
of the old woodstove.
We prepare the spare and elegant
meal within:
the old news, the splintery sticks,
the handhewn wood,
then strike and introduce the pale, thin match.

Ah! We watch it linger, lick,
then taste and catch.
Flame flickers faster, feeds
on fuel-feast...
Oh, bless this
wild, wee elemental beast!
Oh, murmur and sing
and praise
this sweet, uncurling heat--
this welcome warmth--
this marvelous box of fire!

--copyright Mainecelt 2/17/2009

2 comments:

Mama Pea said...

Beautiful. A vivid picture painted. I saw it, I heard it, I smelled it.

Songbird said...

I especially love the line about the elemental beast.