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Telling a winter's tale 
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Post Telling a winter's tale

Let me tell you a winter's tale as old as mankind. A tale of wanting but not knowing what, of the heroin hit of desire that after brief euphoria only leads back to unhappiness and more desire addiction, of asking why you are here because you're dammed if you can work it out, of wanting to see beauty beyond that of the flesh or the picture postcard landscapes of the advertising corporations. It is a tale of life and death, of seeking peace, seeking the She Bird, the Burning Bride, be she god, the universe, nature, or that hidden part of man so well hidden as to appear not to be there at all.

Are we sitting comfortably?

It is a winter's tale that the snow blind twilight ferries over the lakes and floating fields from the farm in the cup of the vales. It glides windless through the hand folded flakes, past the pale breath of cattle at the stealthy sail, and the stars falling cold, and the smell of hay in the snow, and the far owl warning among the folds, and the frozen hold, filled with mist as if flocked with the sheep white smoke of the farm house cowl in the river wended vales, where the tale was told.

Are we sure we are sitting comfortably?

Once when the world turned old, on a star of faith, pure as the drifting bread, pure as the food and flames of the snow, a man unrolled the scrolls of fire that burned in his heart and head, torn and alone, in a farm house in a fold of fields.

The night, the winged snow, the mist, they seemed to him to be his personal hell of desperation and depression, of isolation, coldness, rage against the night. And his burning was a fire lit island ringed by the winged snow and the dung hills white as wool and the hen roosts sleeping chill. And so it would remain until morning, when the flame of the cock crow combs through the mantled yards and the morning men stumble out with their spades, the cattle stirring, the mousing cat stepping shy, the puffed birds hopping and hunting, the milkmaids gentle in their clogs over the fallen sky, and all the woken farm at its white trades, when morning would break night's hold.

He knelt, he wept, he prayed, by the spit and the black pot in the log bright light and the cup and the cut bread in the dancing shade, in the muffled house, in the quick of night, at the point of love, forsaken and afraid.

He knelt on the cold stones, he wept form the crest of grief, he prayed to the veiled sky. May his hunger go howling on bare white bones, and like his desperation his prayers glided windless past the statues of the stables, and the sky roofed sties, and the duck pond glass and the blinding byres alone, into the home of prayers and fires, where the She Bird lives, where he should prowl down the cloud of his snow blind love and rush in the white lairs. His naked need struck him howling and bowed, though no sound flowed down the hand folded air, but his silent cries echoed in the wind strung hunger of birds in the fields of the bread of water, tossed in high corn and the harvest melting on their tongues.

And his nameless need bound him burning and lost, when cold as snow, he should run the wended vales among the rivers mouthed in night, and drown in the drifts of his need, and lie curled caught in the always-desiring centre of the white inhuman cradle and the bride bed forever sought by the believer lost, and the hurled outcast of light.

Deliver him, he cried, by losing him all in love, and cast his need alone and naked in the engulfing bride, never to flourish in the fields of the white seed or flower under the time dying flesh astride.

Standing in the night, in the snow, in the cold, he listened.

Listen, the drunk minstrels sing in the departed villages. All is dust. The nightingale, dust in the buried wood, flies on the grains of her wings, and spells on the winds of the dead, his winter's tale. The voice of the dust of water from the withered spring is telling.

But listen again. The wizened stream with bells and baying water bounds. The dew rings on the gristed leaves and the long gone glistening parish of snow. The carved mouths in the rock are wind swept strings. Time sings through the intricately dead snow drop.

It was a hand or sound in the long ago land that glided the dark door wide, and there outside on the bread of the ground, a she bird rose and rayed like a burning bride. A she bird dawned, and her breast with snow and scarlet downed.

Listen. There is no winter, or spring or summer or autumn, there is only life. There is no breathing in and breathing out, there is only life, there is no grain of wing, there is only flight. All is one. Listen and look.

Look, and the dancers move on the departed, snow bushed green, wanton in moon light as a dust of pigeons. Exulting, the grave hooved horses, centaur dead, turn and tread the drenched white paddocks in the farms of birds. The dead oak walks for love.

The carved limbs in the rock leap, as to trumpets. Calligraphy of the old leaves is dancing. Lines of age on the stones weave in a flock.
And the harp shaped voice of the water's dust plucks in a fold of fields. For love, the long ago she bird rises. Look.

And the wild wings were raised above her folded head, and the soft feathered voice was flying through the house as though the she bird praised and all the elements of the slow fall rejoiced that a man knelt alone in the cup of the vales, in the mantle and calm, by the spit and the black pot in the log bright light.

And the night, the winged snow, the mist, they came to him as salvation, oneness, warmth, contentment, peace. And the sky of birds in the plumed voice charmed him up, and he ran like a wind after the kindling flight, past the blind barns and byres of the windless farm.

In the poles of the year, when black birds died like priests in the cloaked hedge row and over the cloth of counties the far hills rode near, under the one leaved trees ran a scarecrow of snow, and fast through the drifts of the thickets antlered like deer, rags and prayers down the knee-deep hillocks and loud on the numbed lakes, all night lost and long wading in the wake of the she-bird through the times and lands and tribes of the slow flakes.

Listen and look where she sails the goose plucked sea, the sky, the bird, the bride, the cloud, the need, the planted stars, the joy beyond the fields of seed and the time dying flesh astride, the heavens, the heaven, the grave, the burning font.

In the far ago land the door of his death glided wide, and the bird descended. On a bread white hill over the cupped farm and the lakes and floating fields and the river wended vales where he prayed to come to the last harm and the home of prayers and fires, the tale ended. The dancing perishes on the white, no longer growing green, and, minstrel dead, the singing breaks in the snow shoed villages of wishes that once cut the figures of birds on the deep bread and over the glazed lakes skated the shapes of fishes flying.

The rite is shorn of nightingale and centaur dead horse. The springs wither back. Lines of age sleep on the stones till trumpeting dawn.
Exultation lies down. Time buries the spring weather that belled and bounded with the fossil and the dew reborn. For the bird lay bedded in a choir of wings, as though she slept or died, and the wings glided wide and he was hymned and wedded, and through the thighs of the engulfing bride, the woman breasted and the heaven headed bird, he was brought low, burning in the bride bed of love, in the whirl-pool at the wanting centre, in the folds of paradise, in the spun bud of the world.

And she rose with him flowering in her melting snow.





Someone should write a poem about this.

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Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:53 pm
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Post Re: Telling a winter's tale

Oh, someone has,


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Tue Jun 13, 2017 3:03 pm
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