(Munins’s Song that Day)
God, god you’ll never like this rhythm…
But its not the kind to cost an eye.
Tight it lodges in there, up behind the soul,
Then left about a thumb, maybe the width of a thumb,
Wedged in there is the tolerable pain.
Joints complain in snow and cold,
But Easter’s the time of the tolerable pain.
Rise, Rise, Rise again,
Rise aching, twist and spin.
Dream the comeback.
Reawaken in the toss of this sweet chinook.
Attis will, his annual want, soon be getting wed…
I think we’ll send him something sharp, and hey,
They say Ol’ Jesus has come to town,
From out in the tulies so far, so long,
Been riding that circuit so long.
Disguised tonight, tricked out as memory
(and croaking–ah me–)
The tolerable pain grows ripe to rise
As did we all back when black as pitch and green as grass
Built ourselves so late at night
Around the hooking, honeyed tang of riddles never figured.
Nighthawk booming problems
and fumbled lace conundrums never solved.
Dreams cadabrahed into dreams,
a year or two, a lifetime, after lace.
This being the work of a witch,
(older, far older, and pulling away from sweet Lacy)
A rich, wise, downy witch…
I was merely the familiar of her cotten washed to velvet,
And the shawl that hung just so;
Over down around her elbows, slung above calico hip.
Lilac shawl, I’d say silk.
Yellow cotton, calico washed to velvet.
She put tonic in tall glasses and sandals on new grass…
Not so much, but, well, then again…green.
Masked as memory the tolerable pain makes second, third,
The annual coming.
Not Attis’ pain, not yet that mad,
But a warm, hooking, honeyed tang that bites the throat,
Then seeps away never daring to state a name.
Next, Father, Mother, Daughter, Son march out as cure to the tolerable pain. I watch and they stride this meadow. Father in three pieces, wing tips, tie up high and tight, brought into the Methadyrian Holy Family Church today a brief case containing chinos and a powder blue polo confection on that note there’d be a picnic later (and a decent place to change). He also owned in there a pee-bee-and-jay that he couldn’t face on Friday, but was afraid to throw away. Father marched this meadow as if to be medalioned.
Mother and Daughter marched up there too in practical wool blends of hounds tooth pastel and pastel plain. The two were nothing if not determined, having so much more to prove. There in church, the two–Mother, Daughter– summed less than one.
And the Son?
Somewhere that Kid had ditched his rags, he didn’t have a stitch. But he didn’t have a full years age so no one was going to make a scene. And no one else was there but me and them and though I wasn’t going to spill it, I thought I’d spotted a faun, all eyes and ears and trembling tail, snuggled low in last year’s tallest grass. Faun lay there as if he knew the value of being rare and was not just saving self for self, but saving a public treasure. Of the four, the Kid was the only one who saw. What surprise is there in that? He shrieked and pointed and toddled off, combed his toes through too much grass, toppled and mooned the sky. The faun froze. The Kid closed in, thumped to his knees, giggled and reached out and touched an ear, shrieked, wiggled closer to stare back into an eye. The Kid giggled once again, struggled up and danced in place.
When he saw that for all intents it was just him and The Kid in the grass and me on the towering rock, the faun stood too and sang:
Rise, rise, rise again,
Rise Child, twist and spin.
Blow a breakdown. Make a hollar
On these green cut willow pipes…
I’ll dance to greet the tree.
Two days ago, it was just two days,
The cry went up, the shout rolled out
Across the blackened sea:
“The Great God Pan,
The Great God Pan,
The Great God Pan is dead.”
He’d only be in town a week,
And out in the boonies so far, so long,
Been riding that circuit so long.
Leg righteous across the meadow,
Dauntless, face the sun…
The Son…? The Kid…?
Ah, it is much too late for such as The Kid.
He stayed on, became corrupted.
If The Three’ll think to miss him,
They’ll think it all the same
That he finally chose to stay here,
The new piper in this clearing,
To sing annual reports on the tolerable pain.
“The Tolerable Pain At Easter”
(The Kid’s Song that Day)
Spring roused smithy where sly-eyed rounders and overseeing fiends
Forge chains of words, steel, awakening veins
To string out across the air routes, down all those old fast roads,
Crowded lawns at sunset, steaming streets at dawn,
And every other common setting in every other common hour.
Chains bind the soul that sits out front
To all the mysteries and every stranger,
In all the haunted canyons where pilgrim bones are still linked up
And swinging on belay;
Shackles to lilac and lilac shawls, the witch’s lace bound daughter;
Myths, gods, fauns, and raven’s frauds,
The kid and his greenwood whistle.
Its only the smithy’s heat at Easter
That now is the source of the tolerable pain,
Where bright-eyed rounders, ironical fiends
Scream for fire, words and the kindling veins…
Scream, rise, rise, rise again
With rounders, fiends and the Tolerable Pain!