Wodan

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Driene, once a forest of holy oaks,

 

has oldways crossing

 

from farm to ancient farm.

 

Out walking, we tread paths

 

where Saksen footsteps,

 

long sunk into the earth

 

are part of the landscape,

 

part of the very ground

 

that clings

 

to the soles of our shoes

 

and the edge of our souls.

 

The oak behind our house

 

stands alone.

 

Wodan, benevolent guardian

 

in summer green tunic

 

spreads his arms to the sky

 

fingers reaching

 

to follow all the water

 

that runs beneath the ground.

 

Leafy arms spread

 

to offer shade

 

and a bit of peace

 

on an August afternoon.

 

In his autumn glory,

 

burnished copper and gold

 

Wodan’s breastplate dazzles.

 

He is tender and courtly, dropping loveletters

 

down

 

to the sweet-scented, waiting earth

 

and she bears him many children.

 

Come December he is barechested,

 

less benevolent.

 

All the strength of his naked arms

 

revealed,

 

as he stretches in the east wind,

 

the gesture of a tree god

 

as he calls

 

his brothers to the wild hunt.

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