I’ve just received a book of poetry written by a member of The Order of Bards Ovates & Druids. Jay G.Williams, now at the grand old age of 87, is an author of books on the philosophy of religion and art history, and lives in the USA. I find his collection ‘Bardic Musings’ deeply moving. Starting with poems written in his youth, we end with a photograph of the setting sun and two poems about the Great Adventure (death seems too short a word for such a moment) that lies ahead for all of us.
It has begun
I hardly thought
It would be so soon.
Like bitter salt flats
To the horizon,
The day seemed endless —
But here it is:
A clear, crisp mountain sun
a mellow, acrid brew,
To be sipped
Over teeth and gums,
Until the last red drop is gone.
One day, they say, I shall depart
To sail the dark
And nameless river
In my subtle, lonely skiff,
Then lie in some vast hall, in state,
Dreaming the golden dreams
Of his eternity —
It would be wonderful, no doubt.
But no such wonders will transpire for me;
i shall not enter such a distant realm
Nor dream those lucid, blissful dreams
As are educed in glorious palaces.
For i am of the ageless Mother born
And her dark fluid courses through my veins;
I am her corn, her balm, her tree of life;
Her noble fire flickers in my loins.
Lingering, lingering in this land,
Transformed and yet transformed again
In the feral caverns of her alchemy,
Holding fast the secret of her west and east
In the hidden palm of nothingness,
Until eternity is past
And the bluebird sings once more
Out of the heart of spring.