The Gods

Earth Sculpture at the Lost Gardens of Heligan


In Nature they are presences;
In Culture they have form.


So we may sense one – a trace of pheremone
along a river bank, or in a clump of trees,
some redolent place where a streamlet sinks
into sodden leaves – and wonder what has touched
a dormant nerve so that it awakens tentatively
and then retreats slowly back into the web
of neural pathways. Beyond sense.

Or we may match one to a name, a story
one can inhabit, a life that can be lived
vibrantly emerging from sense to sensibility
in our world where meanings are embodied
in aspiration, desire, relationship, things
that can be touched, but are in essence
beyond touch, too deep to be contained by us.

So we claim one, or more, for our tribe,
our land, our story of who or what we are,
and they live with us, finding a form
in the life we give them, growing into identities
or sliding between them as we shape their stories:
becoming familiar they dwell alongside us, companions
to our lives and yet strangers in the shadows of perception.

_ _

As we re-construct their past mystery
They are ever-present : never history.

A prose argument developed from this verse can be found on the DUNBRYTHON Blog.

3 thoughts on “The Gods

  1. ‘they dwell alongside us, companions
    to our lives and yet strangers in the shadows of perception.’

    That’s my experience exactly. Once we’re aware of the gods entering our lives we feel their presence as companions, yet there is so much about them that is shadowy, unknowable that we just cannot ever hope to know in one life time.

  2. YES! This is so beautiful. During our last weekend at the Druid College, we discuss deity. I will have all my apprentices read this poem. It is so clear and filled with beauty. Thank you for sharing your inspiration and gifts with the world. My day is the better for it.

    Blessings of the earth stirring,
    Kevin /|\

    1. Thank you Kevin. It’s gratifying to know that the verses will be put to such a use. I hope you get a good response from those attending.

      Pob bendith /|\

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