30 December, 2006

"Earth's Winter Song"



The beautiful young men and women!
Standing against the war their courage
has made a green place in my heart.

In the dark and utter destitution of winter
the face of the girl is a fresh moon
radiant with the Truth she loves,
the Annunciation, the promise
faith keeps in life.

Seed in the blind Earth, strikn by cold,
the spirits of the new Sun seek you out!

The face of Mary is a Star raying out.
And at the brest of her breth
"the Sun-element, the Child,
"forming Itself out of the clouds which have
"the Sun-rays in the atmosphere

"pouring thru them."


In the great storm of feer and rage
the heds of evil appeer and disappeer,
the old dragon whose scales are corpses of men
and whose breth blasts crops and burns villages
demands again his hecatomb,
our lives and outrage going up into his powr
over us. Wearing the unctuous mask of Johnson,
from his ass-hole emerging the hed of Humphrey,
he bellows and begins again over Asia and America
the slaughter of the innocents and the reign of wrath.

But our lives are drivn downwards too, within, deep down.
The spirits of the living stars return where the Sun
underground works his light magic
stirring the deepest roots. We have been drivn
deep into the heart of our yearning, into the store
from which youth will rise, new shoots
of the spring-tide. O the green spring-tide
of individual volition for the communal good,
the Christ-promise of brotherhood, the lover's
promise of the self's fulfillment!
"The body of inner Earth is alive in mid-Winter."

In the Under Ground:
the sublime Crèche—the lamp's faint glow,
the enormous shadows—the few
frightend shadows—the three
magi or magicians seeing in the Child
the child of the lore—Joseph
whose faith is father, and the girl
whose virginity engenders—and the new
lord of the true life, of Love .

We remember, was always born,
as now, in a time of despair,
having no place there at the Inn,
hunted down by Herod's law,
fleeing by night, secreted in Egypt.

Love in His innocence
radiant in His depth of time and night
has waited and now—this is
the message of Christmas—returns once more,
bearing the light of the Sun
fair in His face.

—Robert Duncan, from Bending the Bow, New Directions Books, 1968,
the poet's idiosyncratic spelling left intact


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