Hymn for Consualia

The Consualia was a festival in honor of Consus, the god of the ripening harvest, in ancient Rome. He’s a green man of ripening fields and orchards; around here, in rural Connecticut, he seemed like a suitable figure of veneration.

Summertime Sun dapples field and meadow,
swelling green apple and ripening grain.
Bass play in lake where sunlight and shadow
merge, mirroring leaf and sky. Soft rain
plonks upon leaves of wild strawberry,
soaking in turn through soil and substrate
to replenish deep-dreaming aquifer.
A sweet maroon gloss lacquers each cherry.
Windfall belongs to raccoon — reprobate
that he is — and ant, steady pilferer.

And you, Consus, preside over altar
where light minutely transforms to sweetness
as chlorophyll binds photons to sugar,
giving rise to all forms of happiness,
earthiness in grain and fire in grape,
water in cucumber and wind in corn,
and generative force in all that grows.
Apples fill in to their desired shape,
nourishing their seeds which may yet be born;
wheat trembles in its roots with what it knows:

that the scythe and sickle are coming soon,
and harvesters take whetstones to their blades.
The wheel of the year is sinking past noon,
and reaping shall commence as summer fades
into twilight. Consus, guard the pastures,
and defend orchards from insect and blight;
guide farmer’s hand to remove weed and pest.
Cover pear and peach with healthy vestures
and fill pumpkin with savory delight
so garden and field with bounty are blest.

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