Rocking and turning the blue and white cradle
So long we served the gods of Earth
In every tree, each rock
The known places we knew to know,
Knew how to find, soul-certain, build
A circle here, a tower there,
A spiral in a spiralled place
And old gods wait, and wake, and walk
And know their place.
Rent from roots across an ocean
A torn culture reaching for wholeness
Clutching at water with open hands
What have they built, in what enfeebled faith,
What muttered names, what hollow churches?
Some gods thrive, and some will fall,
And striding across the snow-plains
Come the Thunderers,
Give them what names you will
They belong to that vastness.
Few can hear and few of those can listen,
Though there it is to hear,
The dance of stones, the planet’s dance,
The gyre about the sun,
Rhythms of present gods who yet remember
Touching green Earth, the turning year,
Life’s cycle, life, and the blood’s dance,
The ice and rocks, the green leaf touched with frost,
A fossil laid down in new stone.
Out there, so cold, so bright, so very far
So perilous, and so desired,
Space, free of life except what we shall bring
Who shall build what and in what name?
When all of turning Earth is left behind
On rocks that know their own dance,
World free, sun centered, spinning,
If open-armed, hope-hearted,
In black space, star-specked,
We look inside and call
What gods may come?
12th June 1997, Lancaster