Saturday, October 22, 2016



Death in the Grove by night,
the mere at its heart a starry plain,
marred by yellowed leaves,
no signs of an old pact,
no remembrance,
no reenactment of the falling ox,
the bull, the goat, the horse, the cock of the dying year.
Always there, Her, the same, changeless, eternal,
the passion of the wood,
long centuries dying,
and thoughtless judgment on Her,
the falling ax, the sword, the brand, arrow, spear, mace,
faltering step, the stumble, the tumble,
down a cold dark tunnel with no end,
no beginning, just always Was,
but now forgotten, not remembered,
worship worn to a nub, a nothing, a footnote
in books, on parchment, written in pigs’ blood
on stones, on the leaves, the earth,
in the grunting rites, on their backs, their bellies,
the holy union,
each last attempt, the age-old job
of bringing the new year, it's over, really
gone at last down that tunnel,
no name eternal, no burning,
no ghostly breath of mystery,
just a primeval fancy, the dry leaves of history,
nothing monumental, unseen,
moving with a powerful weight in the wind, the dancing leaves,
the waving grain,
hackle-raising in the ruddy glow of sunset,
no blood of sacrifice,
just Italian smog.

First published in "The Conspiracy Unmasked," 1994

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