A Month with Yeats: Day Eleven

Today’s quote is from ‘The Harp of Aengus’ by W.B. Yeats.

‘Where time is drowned in odour-laden winds
And Druid moons, and murmuring of boughs,’

 

She holds tight the thread of dreams

 

Rain falls dull on sodden fields,

The sky so low it scrapes the boughs

Of trees in winter nakedness.

This time, this place is all we have,

Its aches and pains and unsaid fears,

An ocean grey with greedy hands.

But woven through with fleeting lights,

This damp and misty stillness fills

With all the perfumes of the past,

A host in flowing, broidered robes,

Their feet on running water tread.

The trick, to hold the silken thread,

Where all our days are strung, bright bead on bead,

Lest twisted winter fingers yank it free,

And strew our tumbling, filmy-coloured dreams,

Among the sad remains of last year’s leaves.

A month with Yeats: Day Five

“And like a sunset were her lips,
A stormy sunset on doomed ships;
A citron colour gloomed in her hair,”

From The Wanderings of Oisin: Book One by W. B. Yeats.

Morgan,_Evelyn_de_-_Flora_-_1894

Bríg

 

Where she walks, the roses wind,

And the green grass grows in the meadows lush,

The springs run sweet beneath her tread,

Where she treads light, young men lie dead.

Through red-rimmed eyes they watch her pass

With silent feet in the meadow grass,

As if she alone brought war and want

And fire from the heaven’s vault.

By sunset’s light, in daybreak’s dew,

The grasses broken shoot anew,

And in their cradles, new men clench

Their fists, as if the sun they’d quench.

 

A month with Yeats: Day Four

I must remember to add the source poem. This is another piece from ‘To some I have talked with by the fire’.

“…till the morning break
And the white hush end all but the loud beat
Of their long wings, the flash of their white feet.” W.B. Yeats

The ineffable host

 

In the rushy wind we hear them,

In the voices of the night.

They answer the hesitant moonlight

With laughter, sharp and white.

They ride the horses of darkness

Across the midnight plain,

And they snatch away our dreamings

And leave us only pain.

The fairy folk are riding,

For spurs, the north wind’s bite,

And the morning seems so far away,

No help in the moon’s frail light.

They are gone in the swoop of the screech owl,

With the dying of the night,

Taking their pale, white beauty,

Far from our mortal sight.

The Unappeasable Host

Sangbad pointed me in the direction of this prompt from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie to write a haibun inspired by a favourite poem.

This is the poem I have chosen, Yeat’s The Unappeasable Host. It isn’t my favourite, but it’s one I love very much, and it feels almost like sacrilege even using it as inspiration.

THE Danaan children laugh, in cradles of wrought gold,
And clap their hands together, and half close their eyes,
For they will ride the North when the ger-eagle flies,
With heavy whitening wings, and a heart fallen cold:
I kiss my wailing child and press it to my breast,
And hear the narrow graves calling my child and me.
Desolate winds that cry over the wandering sea;
Desolate winds that hover in the flaming West;
Desolate winds that beat the doors of Heaven, and beat
The doors of Hell and blow there many a whimpering ghost;
O heart the winds have shaken, the unappeasable host
Is comelier than candles at Mother Mary’s feet.

night2

My haibun

The wind that howls and rattles doors and window frames, the hail that strums wild music on the roof, the clouds that boil in yellow anger in the stormy sky, remind the one who watches of the truth. Beneath the concrete and the glitter-glass, the smooth straight roads and shops that promise pleasures never dreamed, is the cold deep earth where all our past is hid. The old ones and the ones before, the ones who left the earth in peace, one with the stones and the broad-winged birds, the celandine creeping on the bank, they whisper in this rising wind, their stories we must not forget.

And though I hold my children tight, when thunder rocks the house, and lightning dazzles with its pure white fire, I will not hide from them the savage beauty of the night, nor stop their ears against the anger of the storm.

 

Hold tight the warm hand,

watch in awe your earth shudder,

birthright, blood and bones.