Many-Memoried Moon

The horned moon glosses the barn’s roof
with a soft light, like dew upon a lawn,
and silent falls beastly snout and huddled hoof
in those long dreaming hours before the dawn.

Across harvested fields where hay bales lay
hunkered down and wound round unto golden rolls,
there are bonfires flaring, as on Beltane day
when flames flicker fulsome upon the knolls.

Ringed round each heat-hearted, tree-fed fire
there dance the antlered people of an old county
to celebrate with foot and voice and strumming lyre
the crops that have sprouted as Summer’s bounty.

With pagan heartbeats and ancestral bones
they twirl together to make the Midsummer merry,
and though there loom no great standing stones
they remember the isle that is yet kin to Faerie.

By the breastplate of Boudicca and Cuchulainn’s cloak,
by the crib of Fin M’Coul and Epona’s stride,
they remember while flames and shadow both soak
their faces like sunset on Avalon’s dark tide.

And when the druid moon retires, at last, to bed
at the hour of the cock’s intrepid crow,
they rise from sleep, each baptized head
still awash with the pulsating pagan glow.

And with them they bring the ancient ghosts
to their Sunday church mass, among the pews,
and sit them down like humblebrag hosts
to dehorn themselves of their moon-crowned views.

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