Whoever said still as a stone
never watched the pattern of lichen shifting
or the play of light
as a way of speaking
In this mythological drift,
every map is set in stone.
From star to stone
from sheep to shawl,
time spins us like a length of rope.
Labyrinthine and languorous,
Minotaur and muscle
flattened into horoscopes
and clocks and endless bustle.
A stone in every mouth
for this mythological drought.
Whales detoured by sirens,
cattle awaiting raids,
dowries still unsettled,
millions of miles of untended graves—
we are left with what remains.
Feckless followers, sordid schemers
march along to unseen meters
in tv-mirrors, silhouettes of scorn
while wanderers hear whispers in the wood,
the will of the wisps be done,
their sway: spring dictum, supple thrum.
bound by the shape of the mouth,
by the mud’s slow tongue, thick with sleep,
slow and low, in slick relief.
Those Bronze Age horns at the bottom of the lake
rise to meet the mouths of ancient men,
not ghosts, but keepers of earth and oath.
Macha’s mouth resounds
with some scheduled tumult.
The earth bunches up, belts it out
through teeth of stone,
shadows lapping ley lines
toward the depths of what we know.
Earth rubbing tongue against teeth,
the friction of beginnings, the fire and relief.
Migrations as earth fricatives,
liquids lush as the forest’s tongue,
the wheel spoke
a song older than speech,
an alignment of stone and sun:
By thorn and thunder,
by rose and roan,
rise now, creatures, rise and go!
On selkie and sylph,
On fey and faun!
The watchers at the gate relent,
The hinges open toward the dawn.
Oh, insolent body! An organ, a glitch:
blood’s sinuous music, an old folk art
delivering sweetness like a side bitch.
An unction that no other could impart,
But wisdom rides ye wary of thirst traps!
Ye may submit to urgency below
And reap wounds unhealed by salve or wrap.
Ay, sugar-blinded, ye will lug in tow
a thorough arsenal of drink and pain.
Crease thy page in the book of dignity
though, in troth, thy body may abstain—
its last nerves fading like ancient filigree.
Prithee, take the remedy sent from dog above
And remember, weary pilgrim, there ys always more to love.