Hymns for Beltaine

Morning Hymn

The flame is kindled, the spark starts to catch,
And greenness like fire spreads through the Earth
As leaves begin to crackle on each branch
And Sun Unconquered confirms his rebirth.
Winter lies dead; Spring her victory claims:
Blooms rise from loam as earthworms come to dance
With Robins their eternal partnered foes.
April stands agape as snows become rains,
And sweet Persephone’s banners advance,
Bringing forth leaves on the stems of the rose.

Baby maples sprout amid green, green lawns
Colonizing suburban floral sprawl.
Mourning doves sigh with their typical groans
As skunk cabbage rises where the streams stall,
Where ferns spring up to shade once-barren ground.
Maple leaves droop, not yet spread to the Sun;
Forsythia scatters gold like a king;
Wet woodlands echo with woodpecker sound,
And peepers chuckle when evening is come
While shadows leap up like weeds all around.

Now the dominion of Flora appears,
And with it, a riot of royal hues.
Tulips emerge to wash away old tears,
All the brine laid down by winter road-crews.
Come, bright Brigid of regeneration:
Cloak empty branches; hide nests of new birds,
And give new concealment to hives of bees.
Reveal mysteries of creation:
Seeds sprouting roots, and poets spouting words,
And hearts singing hymns of new elation!

Evening Hymn

Hail fair twilight, when Sun makes his strength known,
and turns Earth to spring, decisively.
In but one moon — how high the grass has grown,
how well the fruit trees bloom delightfully.
Although some rain and clouds still lie ahead,
here sprouts wood anemone and nettle;
goldenrod and aster soon join the race.
Recall where fox lies, maggot-rich and dead,
by log where artist’s cap mushrooms settle,
and crimson twilight plays on Queen Anne’s Lace.

Marigolds dapple marshland with yellow —
gladdened gleaming amid skunk cabbage green,
where water-bugs dance on still and shallow,
and strands of grass segment by Golden Mean.
Three baby-blue egs lie warming to life;
a grackle nest fills all space provided,
and house wrens flit wings in their mating dance.
Dead mouse reminds us that breath is but brief,
begun where male and female collided,
and ending for reasons that make no sense.

In between is Life, and all that entails:
pond scum, princess pines, beavers and racoons,
mice, sparrows, housecats, beetles, bads and quails —
all that is, beneath Sun and thirteen Moons,
indefinite and fragile abundance.
Awaken, lightning and quickening flame,
Sing out, and shout, and call sweet summer on.
Bright Sun Unconquered shows his ascendance!
Therefore make merry ere his powers wane,
and shadow waxes between dusk and dawn.

There may be a pair of sonnets later today. Enjoy.

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