ER (Aug 8,1918 / Teddington, England)

The Green Man

In the essence between dragnet day;
in the peace betwen dwale and poplar;
in the twig and near holy things;
by Earth's deep sluices, in enormity
by giant carving mandibles;
designing not hollow lust in the tropics,
night bells or juices of heaven.
but sweeping music travelling the winter
to a new cradle lapped in crocus.
Knowing careful harlequin loins
stealing through blind, iron kingdoms,
and the regulated playfeet of topical ghosts
merrymaking in silver wilderness

- seeing in the shape of the fire, downwards
a dead moth army, brother to brother,
yellow wings turning in corridor winds,
thinking arms bent like corn.
as the quail cries to the mirror water
and a throat splinters at time's end

- watching the boy with cherry tree hands
set his sun-red mantle at summer
and hold to the lip of light his daughter,
a ghost star from a crystal girl,
a lover who climbed the western skylanes,
homing a candle from her heart
at white harvest time

- the Green Man.

His flagon eyes are ringed with hawthorn,
dew on glass spinning wheels
and guitars lost under the snowline.
Boy and girl, armies and ghosts
who moved as threads through his blue mountains,
winged heathers and scattered waters,
now rest with the oracle of the rose,
asleep in his laden sleeves.

by Eric Ratcliffe

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