The Solace of Rhiannon’s Birds

Labyrinth

I sought some solace in Rhiannon’s birds
that I might come to life again
or be lulled into a gentle sleep from which
a new life might begin. So birds came:

A blue tit hopped in through the window
and flew back to the wild from a cupped hand;
the swallows in the garage had four chicks
which came and went through an open door;

A young heron stepped slowly along a streamlet
intent on prey – these birds moved through the world
to bring me back to it, taking me with them
as they flew into the light of the Sun.

Then at Full Moon I awoke long before dawn
to go out under stars bright in the Moon’s eclipse
which was not an eclipse because there, smoke-red
she was visible in the sky and yet not visible.

From this deep mystery I went back
to the otherworld of sleep, it seemed
that I still walked the path of the dead
and so another day passed, another night

when the the Moon was bright, so bright
that as I watched her rise I flew
like a bird through the world, and still
next morning she was there in the western sky,

A daylight Moon remaining big and round
before she faded as the Sun broke through
and a bright day grew and something of Summer
still wreathed itself through coming Autumn.

Soon the swallows will fly south for the Winter
and we’ll hang food for blue tits on the apple tree
which now bears fruit for a sweet harvest
as Rhiannon’s birds sing their song for me.

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