Lucille Lang Day


When Belenus blazes
into the sea, and the last
pink and gold reflections
fade from tide-washed sand,
let us build a bonfire
to celebrate the longest day
the way the Celts did–
with a burning man
garlanded with yellow flowers,

Of course, our man is made of wood
and we haven’t saved
animal bones all year
for this occasion,
but we can purify ourselves
by burning sage
while stars bloom profusely
and the moons of Taranis
line up in a plane.

Let men leap over the flames
while black-tailed deer disappear
beyond the dunes,
gray foxes nab jack rabbits,
and great horned owls bow and hoot.

Pass the wine! Let us celebrate
Ogmios, Brigit, and the Matronae
holding their children
and baskets of fruit.
Remember Lug of the Long Hand,
god of the arts. Stoke the fire!
In my red dress I’ll dance
in the smoke and sparks,
led by the drum
of my pagan heart.

Lucy Day lives in Oakland, California. Her recent poetry
collections–INFINITIES, WILD ONE, and FIRE IN THE GARDEN–are available from INFINITIES contains many poems inspired by outings with Michael Ellis. Lucy is director of the Hall of Health, a museum in Berkeley, and
founder/publisher of Scarlet Tanager Books



Posted on

August 4, 2009