Before the Storm
I took a walk before the storm,
feeling the electric charge in the air,
while the dark clouds glowered above,
grumbling like old Presbyterians.
Here and there the lightning flashed;
moonlight-bright, it pierced the eyes,
enchanting them with sudden lunacy.
Would that I were written in ink purpureal and gold,
a book crafted for the ages, imperial and bold;
but I fear it's not to be. The simple black and white
flash across the page, are gone in a day and night,
evermore forgotten, remembered nevermore,
save as a line in a catalog behind a library door.
In the windy east the moon will wax,
the wheel of time is turning;
in the south, the subtle south,
a fuller moon is burning;
in the west, where wanes the moon,
all things wisely flow;
in the north, where moon is new,
the mountains all things know.
A willow wand the sunrise spring
remembers and recalls;
the summer noon in all its light
upon the dagger falls;
a chalice filled with sunset dreams
in autumn pours out fate;
and on a winter midnight pure
the salt of ages waits.
Life around my spirit rings;
raise your voice and gladly sing!
Sing, O maidens of the world!
sing, O mothers wise!
Sing, O widows wise and bold!
The world is in your eyes!
Sing, O winds that blow and breathe,
sing O flame that sparks and seethes,
sing, O waters filled with worth,
sing, O pillars of the earth!
Nature is a circle round
for which no border can be found;
mark the center, measure fair:
everything will be found there.
The central point of what may be
is every creature living free,
and every power great and bold,
and every element deep and old.
And every center has four ways
to mark the field in which it plays:
east, and south, and west, and north,
from the center each goes forth,
and everything, wherever it be
may its truest homeland see
by calling forth a hallowed place,
by living in a sacred space.