A very merry Christmas to all and sundry! I apologise, as ever, for the long silence; the excuse this time--just as I was struck with bushels of inspiration I lost my internet service. Posts will likely be patchy, with a chance of rain, until next week, when I will no longer have any excuse, and they will probably still go on being patchy. Here was something I had intended to put up a bit earlier:
A Christmas Tree
The tree had grown when they set it inside--
Perhaps it was only that the roof was low,
But then they switched on the strings of lights
And it was unmistakable; a tree would have to grow
Up until it scraped the rushing Milky Way
To drench itself in white-gold stars. How
They burned on every branch, dripped quivering fire;
Constellations blossomed against the sky-dark boughs.
There was a tree once, the story runs,
A dark tree in a garden grew like this--
Tall, but in no other way alike--until it erased Heaven
For the pair who stood beneath and ate its bliss,
Ate and found it bitter. That tree withered in time,
But its fruit thrived, grew tendrils of darkness
Toward a dying sky. Only a distant echo
Wove words of daybreak through the starlessness.
The stars tonight are music in the sky
And upon exultant branches. There may be
A roof above, but still the new tree grows,
Tangling planets and needles, growing endlessly.
And all the fire of space whirls in one room;
The sea-roar of song hushes as the stars press in to see
The eternal cave amid the death-black boughs
Where a Maiden, singing, soothes a shivering Baby.