Monday, December 26, 2005

Quiet Time


Kiyan did not know that he was chosen,
nor did anyone in the village
cast a pebble in the Fountain Bowls,
or add a prayer to the wisp-smoke of Nettle Flame.
The birds knew, though –
and ceased their chattered symphony when he passed.
The scurrying smalls understood
and climbed on dawn-lit rocks to watch
and wait.
Scattered leaves of fall’s sorrow
shook off the kiss of frost to swirl
in dance and settle
in eddies of guiding paths.
“Awake – awake,”
pulsed the life-flow in each man’s chest
blood and God-speak and remembering.
Each by each, by smile and nod –
shuffling feet and close-drawn cloak –
they withdrew to silence.
Kiyan entered Vigil.
It had begun.

The bound ritual had no name,
but those from the southern inland sea
called the day Brumalia.
Yet their calling did not make it so –
did not command the ritual --
the sense of birth came from the stars.
Know that the lad
had not been taught the ritual,
for this then would require belief.
He was chosen because he knew.
He knew because he was chosen.
Such is the nature of the Day –
such is the way of Light.

It took full day and dusk to prepare.
Only special trees held a ‘nestle tip’,
still pale green in Spring’s blessing –
never grown – just held.
The fire would be of oak alone –
of branches retrieved from the lairs of wolf and bear.
The tinder was of feather-down,
caught in the pricking of the Hawthorne.
The pit was hollowed within new earth
brought with the Summer’s rain.
The passion was his alone.
The yearning came from all.

Within the shallow pit the raked fire
reduced the twigs to glowing coals –
gleaming eyes of souls unknown.
The carpet of fir tips both hid this dying pain
and gave up their seed of life and hope.
The mist pulsed low above the bed thus formed –
heat to sustain – an enclave alone in all the world –
a haven suspended in evertime.
Late snow swirled aside
to fall in ridges and shield the wind.
The updraft drew and caressed a hundred falcon wings
to guard and protect the coming.
The boy lay naked.
The night became still in the glasp of ice –
and the world as known before ended.
Only in this singular spot was there life
and warmth and defiance –-
waiting in gentle slumber.
From the simple fire-bed would tomorrow come.

The first rays of Godshine
touched the toes of morning.
Kiyan rose
as if with the whispers of the waning embers –
tiny puffs of earth-breath about his feet.
It was thus that he greeted the new day –
one person for all –
one statement of being –
one claim on creation.

The Sun laughed.
Another year was granted.
Another man was born.
It was done – begun.

Prepare yourself, my child.
Next year you may be called.


At 6:58 PM, Blogger Imogen Crest said...

Simply a masterpiece.


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