SAINT JULIAN PRESS
DAVID BRENDAN HOPES ~ POET
The bare ground shows its bones,
the curved, hard down, the female hills,
the creeks raw as new cuts in the valleys.
Rain for Christmas. I go walking.
Gray, the land, like a whale's back
studded with spears, the bare trees.
Dry, the honey of deceit in the lily's throat,
honey of generation in the strangle-vine;
rose dead in her intricacies.
Arrayed on the forest floor are Christmas fern,
partridge berry, Eve-color still, enduring green.
Birdless, this silence.
They have twittered off to Bethlehem.
Christmas morning the village bells
toll me as I walk.
Who's there? ask the bareness,
the bright Eve berries.
I answer, "A poet, Christmas morning."
Ease, they whisper, let the line.
Give us slack.