Poetry

‘December’s Child’ and other poems by John Maxwell O’Brien

By: John Maxwell O’Brien

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Down by the Echo Lake (A Villanelle)

Down by the echo lake
in spectral dreams
tin souls prepare their wake

Green hands ring round the rake
A lime of veils
down by the echo lake

Watered on a stainless break
beneath a crow-flecked sky
tin souls prepare their wake

Incandescent in the mist they make
preened hearts in song
down by the echo lake

Madonna looms where lilies make
A sacred grove in which
tin souls prepare their wake

Naked on the boughs that shake
their broken globes
down by the echo lake
tin souls prepare their wake

###

Eos

Dawn came
flashing crimson
(silent whispers)
in an orange rage

the mute hoofbeats
of Lampos and Phaethon
heralds
of her scarlet robe

Christians smiled
(below the landscape)
rejoicing in the coronal
of fresh wounds

it was a day for prying
the raven loose
and wresting the rose
from its pale blue cave

###
December’s Child

I knew a lily
whose ivory look
dripped beauty
with geometric grace
its petals leaped
past frozen winds
in a consecrated race

It knew not how to feel but how to grow
It grew quite well that much I know

December’s child
cloaked in the strings of its lyre
sprung in symmetric defiance
from the forge without a fire

It knew not how to feel but how to grow
It grew quite well that much I know

When my spring came
that lily towered stately in the sun
untouched, consumed,
with the triumph it had won

It knew not how to feel but how to grow
It grew quite well that much I know

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Categories: Poetry

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