I haven’t posted anything in a long while on my blog. This is a poem I wrote this afternoon, so obviously it’s received very little editing, but I thought it was worth putting up.
Autumn of Boyhood
The feeling of a boy when he holds his first sword,
a stick of maple plucked from dry earth
and struck against trees in the season of red leaves.
The birches quail at the blows, the leaf carpet
is of blood in the autumn of his dying, bold youth.
The rubbing of the bark will fashion his strong hands
until he turns them against cold dragons,
flameless creatures, the metals of a world grown
cold and airless; this he shall full know
when on the fanatical machines his sword snaps.
Lost is the cracking of wood, the pine-scent,
among the regular clickings of a mad earth.
When oaths are made, the warmth of blood-taste,
and the uplifted song of fearless young men
joined by the wind in its piping assaults, built
not still as boys, not yet as the world’s dead.
They may come home at nightfall; a walled house
still guards them, and Mother binds their red wounds.
But Father is waiting on the top of the red hill
by the oak, to receive your sword after black night
has drained the yellow air, and again gone.
The winter shall cover the dragon-blood leaves.
Sit by a descanting hearth-flame, sleep, dream
of fighting the dragons again in wet spring.