Christmas Eve, This Year:
24 December 2017
How Green We Were and Are
How green the veins of your very own valley, the one running downhill, your arms at your sides.
Children bestride a dead horse, we were told; get you safe home to bed; say your prayers; no one rides
the nightmare on purpose. She’s always hated the children she’s borne under—some say, duress.
That’s a long garment with skirts that go flapping about and fair trip her so much, she says yes
to the dead man who waits at the end of the alley. He’s hers all along; she just tries to hold out
and not be so sad she can’t answer the shadow he’s casting across her known path. She’s about
to grow worried and start from a far distant quarter to where even ghosts dance with terrible nerves.
Give it an hour till the Moon rises higher, then listen again: Angel nobody serves,
She’s had a sure sign in the interval since she was told she had often been seen with the likes
of a ghost or an angel, conjoined hand in hand, as the ocean rolls over the land and the strikes
of the birds with their beaks on the glass as the cracks fly across from horizon to starline to—this
little room lined with little closed windows where nothing and no one should be unless untimely bliss
was their calling. It calls on and on. It calls always. It calls us Forever; it calls us its friends.
Angels as light as a feather come over our eyelids and sigh to us, all that love lends
the souls it loves best comes repeating like heartbeats—so listen or not, as you will; it lends you
the long cast of its eyes through the darkest of mirrors where deep intuition knows how to come true—
but when waking comes hard and the morning too early, I feel my arm flex, and the vein is so sore.
How green was my underhill maker of dreams as I sank down and down to where cataracts roar,
and the ocean as was has become a fine stream that is littered with silver and gold in the rock.
I’m walking out with my angel by night, and the friends of my childhood—Lord, no common stock—
where we’ll all be forgiven for waiting for changes to happen that open the real door where shine
the eyes and the great combined weight of the ancestors, knowing their hearts like an old, swollen vine
that bears through the seasons and centuries—even the turnings of pages from leaf-mould to leaves
that Forever will find itself happy to shine from, a written-down salve for the wound that bereaves—
The veins of love’s very own valley are fertile with color no unhappy heart could provide.
Blue-green as sleeping through long restless nightmares, yet happy as riding—our loves all should ride
through the hours after midnight, then wake with the dew as the Sun scarcely dares show its face above land—
That’s bound to grant us an hour just to lie soft abed, each a dead man as was, hand in hand.