Two Trees

There is a tree set broad and high,
Partake of it, if you would die.
There, on its branches, plain to see
A feast for thee.

“Take and eat”, O hear the Lie
I live still, and yet I die
Good and evil now I see
O cursed me.

But, see –

There is a tree set broad and high,
Partake of it, if you would die.
There, on its branches, plain to see
A feast for thee.

“Take and eat – my flesh I give”
Die I do, and yet, I live
Shattered curse by Thy decree,
O blessed Tree.

– Jen Wilkin

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Shanty of the Binds

Oh navitar, where are we bound?
My navitar, what paths are found?
Oh navitar, the binds deform,
But waking, we are then reborn.
My navitar, the river is deep,
What falls in, the Nigh will keep.
Where bound, where bound, the keeper cries,
You hear the binds, not the replies.
But sways await, the travelers sleep,
Cast off, cast off, and into the deep.

– a river song,
A World Too Near, Kay Kenyon

The Falcon

I know a falcon swift and peerless
As e’er was cradled In the pine;
No bird had ever eye so fearless,
Or wing so strong as this of mine.

The winds not better love to pilot
A cloud with molten gold o’er run,
Than him, a little burning islet,
A star above the coming sun.

For with a lark’s heart he doth tower,
By a glorious upward instinct drawn;
No bee nestles deeper in the flower
Than he in the bursting rose of dawn.

No harmless dove, no bird that singeth,
Shudders to see him overhead;
The rush of his fierce swooping bringeth
To innocent hearts no thrill of dread.

Let fraud and wrong and baseness shiver,
For still between them and the sky
The falcon Truth hangs poised forever
And marks them with his vengeful eye.

– James Russell Lowell

The Falcon

Why should my sleepy heart be taught
To whistle mocking-bird replies?
This is another bird you’ve caught,
Soft-feathered, with a falcon’s eyes.

The bird Imagination,
That flies so far, that dies so soon;
Her wings are coloured like the sun,
Her breast is coloured like the moon.

Weave her a chain of silver twist,
And a little hood of scarlet wool,
And let her perch upon your wrist,
And tell her she is beautiful.

– Elinor Wylie

The Eagle and the Mole

Avoid the reeking herd,
Shun the polluted flock,
Live like that stoic bird,
The eagle of the rock.

The huddled warmth of crowds
Begets and fosters hate;
He keeps above the clouds
His cliff inviolate.

When flocks are folded warm,
And herds to shelter run,
He sails above the storm,
He stares into the sun.

If in the eagle’s track
Your sinews cannot leap,
Avoid the lathered pack,
Turn from the steaming sheep.

If you would keep your soul
From spotted sight or sound,
Live like the velvet mole:
Go burrow underground.

And there hold intercourse
With roots of trees and stones,
With rivers at their source,
And disembodied bones.

– Elinor Wylie