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Feasts of Fire and Air Poetry by Virginia Stewart
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Untitled #93
(to Emerald)

Bright the armor and sharp the arrows
that spring from the bow of the God
whose eyes are moist with tears of joy.
Rays of light fleeing to their goal,
I am stricken,
And call to Aphrodite,
"Oh how I am in love with a priestess of Athena,
But she is locked away from me
In the black marble halls by the silent lake,
Measuring out the slow rites
of the Goddess of Wisdom.

Her hair is a river of dragon gold
caught up by the first bright glittering of dawn,
The winds dance around her
and carry her perfume to me in this haunted chamber,
coiling round my throat until I am swept away
by the promise of wildflowers
in the midst of bitter winter.
I am betrayed by the breath of the wind
that carries to me the scent of honeyed wine,
and I am drunk on the taste of her,
my empty cup poured out upon the stones."

Hear my longing whisper Athenaed,
and come out of the cold halls.
Under the moonlight you can hear
the song of the river
that flows from the palace
of the Goddess of Dreams.

There are seven fires that burn at the heart of the lotus
and each is her name echoed in the heavens.

I am a poor shepherdess who has stayed too long in the woods
I hunger and thirst for the fruit and the wine,
but I have fallen under the spell of Pan
who reclines upon the moss,
and plays the pipe of seven reeds.

Ah! The sweet rapture of the God of the Wild Woods!

I shall starve in the darkness,
though the fruit hangs heavy on the vine
and wine like water runs swift
from the silver urns of the Dryads
that dance beneath the gems of night.

She set before me a banquet of spices,
and rich wine poured out in lapis rivers
into a fragile chalice of rose and gold.
And then into the mist she vanished
and her magic hid away the feasting hall
where the bards upon their jeweled harps play a music
forbidden to all who would stray again in mortal lands.

I am a warrior who has set out in the morning
to win a victory in honor of the Queen of Love,
but I have come late to the battlefield,
And my army lies all cold and bloody upon the field.
I weep at the gates of diamond
that glitter in the burning sun,
and with my sword I strike at them in vain,
for they are shut against me.

I am fallen upon the sword of my desire
and my blood is poured out upon the earth.
I cried unto the city
for a single drop of the waters of life
that ever flow within the walls of ivory.
Yet my Priestess attended upon her Goddess,
and did not hear the voice
carried by the north wind
to the house of the empty heart.

Beloved, the revel is well begun,
and the dancers call for you to come away!
Away from the teachers
and the philosophers that speak ever in riddles!
They do not see that your eyes are the forests
that glimmer in the silent dawn,
deep green and gold,
dark with shadows and with secrets.

Unbraid your hair and come away!
Dance with me in the glade
under the light of the full moon,
And we shall sing the songs of the Maenads,
dressed in the vine leaves of Dionysus,
and run heedless of the wolves
that howl in this forsaken land.





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