I’ll be reciting the Imbolc Hymn as part of the preliminaries at the Stag King’s Masque at Feast of Lights, the midwinter gathering sponsored by the EarthSpirit community, on Saturday night. There’s also an audio file of the Hymn, which I made as part of the effort to memorize the words for Saturday. I’m only one very small part of this annual festival to celebrate spirituality and the arts — if you’re around, consider attending the Masque alone, or come for the weekend. If you’d like to read more of my poetry, check out the button, Poetic Catalog, above — which is both a button, and a pull-down menu to specific collections of my work.
Hail to thee, night of the Flame Rekindled,
The secret spark hidden from wind and wet.
The Sun rears up, untamed and unbridled,
Thawing the winter – but lest we forget
And believe Spring is already at hand –
The elms are barren, though eager for spring;
The beech leaves remain cramped in tiny points;
Yet new signs of growth appear in the land:
And we have seen the grosbeak on the wing.
Each icicle the thirsty earth anoints
With the drip-drip-drip of gravity’s grace
Which ploughs the ground, and transmutes it to mud:
The rich, fertile loam of Mother Earth’s face.
Thus the seed quickens. Soon the grass will bud,
And those tender shoots will climb to the sky,
Food for the new-born lambs and kids and foals,
On hours-old legs unsteady and new.
And even so, we hear the vulture’s cry,
To warn us that Death, ever present, pulls
Us to her halls, and our hours are few.
Therefore we rejoice and kindle the flame,
But hide it from the ice-storm and the thaw.
Life walks unsteady, and yet is not tame:
All things survive by talon, tooth and claw.
Even the tulip sleeping in her den
Battles for the right to unfurl her bloom
Against the hungry mole and the choking weed.
And so we praise returning light again,
While recalling that life plants its own doom,
Shaping its ending in egg, shoot, and seed.