Yule

Among the green trees
brooding over the fresh snow.
Survivors of their season
sparkling with ice,
garlanded with drift,
yhey are the lords
of Yule-tide immortality.

Beneath their needles
another seasons' stirrings
sleep away warm and waiting.
Grind needles
in the palm and taste
the green and bitter broth
of living immortality.

This is their season.
The flowers all fled,
and the birds gone south.
No saw nor an axe
as yet has cut them
to serve our yearning
for seeming immortality.

In holy groves men gathered
when the sun had shriveled
and the moon grown too high,
to offer up their sons so that
the green again might spread
in cyclic immortality.

That time is past
and yet, each solemn season-
beneath a felled tree-
we offer up the babe
to torture and to death
upon a skeleton of wood
in hopes of immortality.

Their tree is barren,
as they are. They know
the cold love of astronomers
for distant lights,
celestial mechanics
and the endless deep:
peering into immortality.

Saints preserve us
from their salvation:
condemned to choir
ever afterwards
with the community of saints
and un-ambitious angels
in servile immortality.

I long to find
a portal to Valhalla,
an endless afternoon
of river and willows,
pines and cool spruce
upon the mountains:
a languid sort of immortality.

I'll build a world of words
and place the portal there.
Until the leaves turn
to dust and bindings crumble.
Perhaps in death my words
would be my immortality.

And at the fire each Yule
they would recount the tales
and sing my songs again--
songs of a living tree
sparkling with ice,
garlanded with drift-
and taste of immortality.

1 comment:

Pam said...

I came here by way of PWB. Having been raised in the Pacific Northwest, I really identified with this poem. My favorite stanzas are:

"I long to find
a portal to Valhalla,
an endless afternoon
of river and willows,
pines and cool spruce
upon the mountains:
a languid sort of immortality.

I'll build a world of words
and place the portal there.
Until the leaves turn
to dust and bindings crumble.
Perhaps in death my words
would be my immortality."

Wonderful!