Tuesday, 15 September 2009

The Wicker Man

How proudly the Wicker Man stands aloft,
Rising as a silent giant into the sky,
Set upon twin trunks, its limbs of oak,
Rooted deep into barren earth, seedless soil,
Awaiting the hour of its immolation,
Captivating every eye for miles around,
It dreams of death amidst the drifting clouds.

Both the sun and moon are its lucent crowns,
As it reigns imperious upon the horizon,
This cynosure of the Druidic religion,
Drawing pilgrims and bards to its presence,
A barbarous prison of chopped wood,
A sanctum of twisted willow twigs,
Built at Lammas and then burnt at Beltane.

Criminals are gagged and bound within,
Awaiting the hour of their execution,
Each a sacred morsel to satiate the gods,
Beside fruits of the earth in every form,
Including every traitor and invader,
Who dared enter the realm, sent to meet,
The Wicker Man, Taranis, The Thunderer.

A horned moon rises from the misty South,
As two arrows aflame are fired forth,
By archers unseen, with ritual invocations,
To follow faithfully their due trajectory,
And slide swift into the creatures side,
Where licks of red flame, sudden rise,
Flashing into furious life, sinister unfolding.

The wild wind sets free a cleansing fire,
As scarlet ribbons of flame conspire,
To seize and devour the crackling idol,
Each sacrifice screams in hopeless pain,
Amidst the roiling heat and angry flame,
Smoke black as storm cloud, rises free,
To please the gods with burnt offerings.

First one giant leg topples, then the other,
With shrieks of pain and fiery shudders,
The columns fall, spilling forth bodies,
Now shrivelled black and diminished,
For the sacred fire has done its work,
Consuming every succulent offering,
White flakes of ash, fluttering into nothing.

Soft as snow flakes on a winter’s morn,
Settles the last sigh of the Wicker Man,
Whose devotees implore the suns blessing,
Chanting prayers for the future harvest,
Whilst ritually dancing upon the hot embers,
Whilst in blood and ashes the sun sets,
To rise upon a new world in the morning.

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