Poetry

Song to Pomona

A silver dew lies on the Autumn grasses,
Autumnal sunshine habits every tree;
From each bejewelled bough there slowly passes
Immeasured scent and sweetness up to thee,
Pomorum Patrona! Pomorum Patrona!
O hear, as thou wert wont to hear of old,
Though guardian goddess of red and gold.

Banners, above thine orchard temples flying.
Flame a new splendour from each glowing glade,
And radiant hills of clustered light are lying
Beneath the lichened pillars on the shade,
Pomorun Patrona! Pomorum Patrona!
O give, as thou wert wont to give of old,
Though guardian goddess of red and gold.

With ample stores abundantly she blesses
Each nesting hamlet of the hills and plains,
Shaking within their thirsty cider-presses
The glory garnered from her woodland fanes.
Pomorun Patrona! Pomorum Patrona!
We praise thy name with voices of young and old,
Though guardian goddess of red and gold.

~ Arthur Rackham

Selenomancy

The lunacy
And the absence of moonlight,
lying here staring at my ceiling
because I can’t see the sky.

By the dim light of my little leaning
tower of pisa lamp-a tiny plastic architectural wonder,
with its small switch so old and functional-
I didn’t see it coming.

It’s the lunacy
that keeps me wondering how you are,
if you are seeing that moon again tonight, the same one
in the backyard
with the feathery tips of evergreens jabbing into it.

How crazy it was to have spied it together,
when things weren’t so strained.

I think you have me staring at this ceiling
while you stare at the moon.

I think you have lunacy, too.

I want to tell you about a lunatic’s sweetness,
galvanized by her belief that somehow
all this isn’t her fault.

~Janelle Farvour

The Hunter’s Moon

The Hunter’s Moon rides high,
High o’er the close-cropped plain;
Across the desert sky
The herded clouds amain
Scamper tumultuously,
Chased by the hounding wind
That yelps behind.

The clamorous hunt is done,
Warm-housed the kennelled pack;
One huntsman rides alone
With dangling bridle slack;
He wakes a hollow tone,
Far echoing to his horn
In clefts forlorn.

The Hunter’s Moon rides low,
Her course is nearly sped.
Where is the panting roe?
Where hath the wild deer fled?
Hunter and hunted now
Lie in oblivion deep:
Dead or asleep.

~Mathilde Blind

Moon Fishing

When the moon was full they came to the water.
some with pitchforks, some with rakes,
some with sieves and ladles,
and one with a silver cup.

And they fished til a traveler passed them and said,
“Fools,
to catch the moon you must let your women
spread their hair on the water —
even the wily moon will leap to that bobbing
net of shimmering threads,
gasp and flop till its silver scales
lie black and still at your feet.”

And they fished with the hair of their women
till a traveler passed them and said,
“Fools,
do you think the moon is caught lightly,
with glitter and silk threads?
You must cut out your hearts and bait your hooks
with those dark animals;
what matter you lose your hearts to reel in your dream?”

And they fished with their tight, hot hearts
till a traveler passed them and said,
“Fools,
what good is the moon to a heartless man?
Put back your hearts and get on your knees
and drink as you never have,
until your throats are coated with silver
and your voices ring like bells.”

And they fished with their lips and tongues
until the water was gone
and the moon had slipped away
in the soft, bottomless mud.

~Lisel Mueller

Sleepyhead

As I lay awake in the white moon light,
I heard a faint singing in the wood,
‘Out of bed,
Sleepyhead,
Put your white foot now,
Here are we,
Neath the tree
Singing round the root now!’

I looked out of window, in the white moon light,
The trees were like snow in the wood–
‘Come away,
Child, and play
Light with the gnomies;
In a mound,
Green and round,
That’s where their home is.
Honey sweet,
Curds to eat,
Cream and frumenty,
Shells and beads,
Poppy seeds,
You shall have plenty.’

But soon as I stooped in the dim moon light
To put on my stocking and my shoes,
The sweet sweet singing died sadly away,
And the light of the morning peeped through:
Then instead of the gnomies there came a red robin
To sing of the buttercups and dew.

– Walter de la Mare

Like Rain it Sounded Till it Curved

 

Like Rain it sounded till it curved
And then I new ’twas Wind –
It walked as wet as any Wave
But swept as dry as sand –
When it had pushed itself away
To some remotest Plain
A coming as of Hosts was heard
It filled the Wells, it pleased the Pools
It warbled in the Road –
It pulled the spigot from the Hills
And let the Floods abroad –
It loosened acres, lifted seas
The sites of Centres stirred
Then like Elijah rode away
Upon a Wheel of Cloud.

~by Emily Dickinson

Cold Iron

“Gold is for the mistress — silver for the maid —
Copper for the craftsman cunning at his trade.”
“Good!” said the Baron, sitting in his hall,
“But Iron — Cold Iron — is master of them all.”

So he made rebellion ‘gainst the King his liege,
Camped before his citadel and summoned it to siege.
“Nay!” said the cannoneer on the castle wall,
“But Iron — Cold Iron — shall be master of you all!”

Woe for the Baron and his knights so strong,
When the cruel cannon-balls laid ’em all along;
He was taken prisoner, he was cast in thrall,
And Iron — Cold Iron — was master of it all!

Yet his King spake kindly (ah, how kind a Lord!)
“What if I release thee now and give thee back thy sword?”
“Nay!” said the Baron, “mock not at my fall,
For Iron — Cold Iron — is master of men all.”

“Tears are for the craven, prayers are for the clown —
Halters for the silly neck that cannot keep a crown.”
“As my loss is grievous, so my hope is small,
For Iron — Cold Iron — must be master of men all!”

Yet his King made answer (few such Kings there be!)
“Here is Bread and here is Wine — sit and sup with me.
Eat and drink in Mary’s Name, the whiles I do recall
How Iron — Cold Iron — can be master of men all!”

He took the Wine and blessed it. He blessed and brake the Bread.
With His own Hands He served Them, and presently He said:
“See! These Hands they pierced with nails, outside My city wall,
Show Iron — Cold Iron — to be master of men all.”

“Wounds are for the desperate, blows are for the strong.
Balm and oil for weary hearts all cut and bruised with wrong.
I forgive thy treason — I redeem thy fall —
For Iron — Cold Iron — must be master of men all!”

“Crowns are for the valiant — sceptres for the bold!
Thrones and powers for mighty men who dare to take and hold!”
“Nay!” said the Baron, kneeling in his hall,
“But Iron — Cold Iron — is master of men all!
Iron out of Calvary is master of men all!”

by Rudyard Kipling

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