Shy from the valley, my Child, my Love.
Sparrows are scattering up from the dale.
Fevered and ravening, under the gale
is the blank-eyed wolf in the naked vale.
Veer from the East, my Child, my Love.
The shuttered kingdom drowses at dusk.
Over the slain stag’s waning musk
Are ardored boar of angled tusk.
Veer from the West, my Child, my Love.
In the towns, a stillness looms.
And a resurgent hunger glooms
the orphans in their upstairs rooms.
Divert from the North, my Child, my Love.
I see the wealthy huntsman there.
Beneath the starless heaven’s stare
hounds pursue the slowing hare.
Divert from the South, my Child, my Love.
Boorish kings bereft of reason
ponder politics and treason
in this graying, godless season.
Fear for the Country, my Child, my Love.
Trust not what we thought we had risen above.
Dried are the laurels and flown is the dove.
Bandits now brandish the falconer’s glove.
The range bleeds out expatriates.
The tepid winter sun still blanches
trees between abandoned ranches.
Blackbirds bicker at their branches.
Songless is the nightingale
huddled in its formless nest.
A burrowed bear of fervid breast,
rouses from its fitful rest.
The slowing river swells to move
artless serpents from their nooks.
The wordless falcon leans and looks
at the arcs of the verseless rooks.
(c) Eric Robert Nolan 2017
Photo credit: By popejon2 from Paddington, Australia (At Killarney Lake) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons