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Feasts of Fire and Air Poetry by Virginia Stewart
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Hymn to Night
(for Xara)

She sits at the loom and weaves enchantment
Her robes are the soft heartlessness of inevitable death,
and the prophesy of change.

She rose up from the dark ocean to walk upon the waves,
bending her siren's song upon the hapless ones
who cast themselves into the thunder,
and she embraced them in coldness,
and folded them into the womb of eternity,
Her hair was braided up with shells
and her face shown with the pale glory of the stars
She was dancing on the shores of the sea of emptiness,
and the ripples of the water washed the stones
in perpetual hymns of sighing

I have seen her drifting through fields of bones,
her skirt brushing the brittle reeds of winter
and gently she reached out to pluck the magic from the dead.
She has touched the eyes of wrens
and held broken wings in the drape of her silken skirts
Then she burned away the webs of illusion
and they flew up into the morning.

She held up her mirror to catch the sun
but she is silver and darkness,
and soft cries of forgetfulness,
radiant and cool.
She is enthroned upon the marble chariot of night,
to watch the sea streams flowing out from the core of white hot blood.

I stand now with my back to the winds
the gold sylphs singing in the tides of air
To face the ocean's tumult and to feel the
sting of sunset in the salt storms.
I wait upon a moment's glimpse
of the Timeless Daughter of Isis
Who has caressed the universe with tears,
and scattered the skeins of diamond stars
into the pools of infinity.

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