Monday, October 11, 2010

Merlin & The Old Woman

The sun on that day swelled like a maternal
Belly bleeding slowly through the sky
The light is my mother O bloody light
The clouds flowed like menstrual flux

At the crossroads where only a thornless
Compass rose flourished in winter
Merlin kept watch on life and the eternal cause
Making the universe die then be born anew

An old woman green mantled on a mule
Followed the riverbank downstream
And ancient Merlin on the deserted plain
Beat his breast and cried out Rival

O my frozen being whose fate overwhelms me
Whose flesh-sun shivers do you wish to see
My Memory my twin coming to love me
To see that fine unfortunate son I long to hold

His gesture toppled the upheavals’ pride
The dancing sun stirred its own navel
And suddenly the springtime of love & valor
Led a young April day by the hand

The roads from the west were strewn with
Bones with weeds thick with fate and flowers
With memorials trembling by green carrion
While the winds conveyed down and misfortune

Dismounting her mule his lover stepped forward lightly
With a light touch the breeze smoothed her finery
Then the pale lovers joined their mad hands
The knot of their fingers formed the space of their love

She dangled miming a rhythm of existence
She cried I hoped for your call for a hundred years
The stars of your life held sway over my dance
Morgana watched from Mount Gibel’s summit

Ah, it’s sweet to dance when a mirage of singing
Breaks out and the winds of horror
Feign the hilarious moon’s laughter
And frighten the ghostly forerunners

I fashioned white gestures in the desert
Lemurs swarmed through my nightmares
My whirling expressed the bliss
That is nothing but the Art’s pure effect

I only plucked the hawthorn’s blooms
At springtime's end when they wished to be deflowered
When birds of prey proclaimed their ravaging
Of stillborn lambs and child gods doomed to death

I have aged you see while you live I dance
But I would soon have wearied and hawthorn blossoms
This April would have kept a poor secret
The corpse of an old woman who died miming sorrow

And their hands rose like a bright flock of doves
That night fell upon like a vulture
Then Merlin moved to the east saying May he rise
Memory’s son Love’s peer

Whether he rises from muck or may be man’s shadow
He is indeed my son my immortal work
His brow haloed with fire on the road to Rome
He will walk alone watching heaven

The lady who awaits me is named Vivian
And when springtime comes with new sorrows
Lying amongst the marjoram and coltsfoot
I will last interminably under the hawthorn

© Jack Hayes 2010

1 comment: