(A Holiday Carol)
Oh what are these sounds I hear in the sky,
The cold wind screams and deadening cry
Of the songs birds sing when abandoned to die?
Oh what are these sounds I hear in the sky
When summer’s buried under glaciers of ice
And solstice stars, distant and dim,
Are so lost in blank seas of endless black space
The New Year’s epiphany can’t hear its own hymn?
The blitz has buried rows of corn on the plain
Ranged in white lines there like armies of night.
Out there the cold shivers like bones going insane
For a hint in the sky of redeeming warm light.
So what is that tree doing naked in sky
With limbs reaching out to winds going wild?
Is she the mother who never asks why
She’s there to give life to a new baby child?
When the child was born was the mother unleaved,
Stripped naked and bare by the cold winter storm
That fired her courage when she heard a small cry
At the approach of any shrill noise in the sky?
What hymns does the hearth fire breathe in the air
To the mother cradling her new baby’s sigh?
How can bare arms enfold enough care
To warm the life she holds in trust there
Inside walls made from well-seasoned trees
With memorized music toned in their woods,
The lullabies there composed by summer and spring
Accompanied by wild chords the winter winds bring.
Oh, who is in that tree hanging in sky
With naked limbs reaching out to a child
To shield it from winds going wild
With love in winter that will not say die?
As blizzards whistle through cracks in our homes
Where we huddle to watch the warmth taking wing
Let’s gather tonight for the hymns woodfires sing
To honor the love in good women’s wombs.