Holly Folly

An orchard of holly trees,
thousands unto thousands,
bejeweled with red berries,
each a crimson drop
of sacrifice,
each a
generation of Man
spawned hitherto
since before Man was Man.
Strolling among the shade
I wonder why we are so
as we grow among paradise.
A chill wind blows,
signaling Yuletide’s approach.
They like to say Christ died for our
but, if so,
why are the berries
still so deadly?
Why do we grow so plump
in our hearts
with a brimming poison?
Christ may have changed
water into wine,
but could he refine the deadly wine
of this bitter berry
into benign water
so we might wash away our sins?

Autumn Tea

Acorns underfoot, red foliage overhead,
we walk through the woods, to the wilted clover bed
where the Green Man lays, a god no longer green,
and soon to fade beneath that arboreal scene.
From his brow we take a handful of brown leaves
while the birds fall silent among the sylvan eaves.
He rouses, briefly, and offers to us a seed:
it smells of every plant, tree, and even weed.
Returning home, we set the water to boil
and dig a hole in the earth, planting in the soil
the seed that he gave us, a seed of Springtime hope
as we drink our Autumn tea and we try to cope.
The world is one of colors all flaring in hue,
life and death together—a bittersweet brew.

To Be Raised High

He was born low among the high green hills,
with high ambitions, pride, and a desire
for a life beyond the fields and the mills,
above the summit of Benbulben—even higher.

He wished to be as an ancient Celtic king
and sought those who would thus crown him
among a sacred Druid copse ring,
his brow entwined in leaf, petal, and stem.

Maidens and priestesses sang him songs
and served him wine, honey, cheese,
and danced to lutes in twirling throngs
as flowers flavored the throbbing breeze.

For a night he was revered, beloved, praised
and taken at last to a bower bed—
but, hearken, a sacrifice was thereby raised
toward the Moon, to whom he shall be wed.

And so the goddess descended from aloft
with a coronet of stars, a gossamer gown,
making love to him, her caresses soft
and the sickle blade sharp as it came down.

The Moon then rose once more, dark red
with the flush of her groom, his love
having filled her full, with child and well-fed,
as she returned to the higher realms above.