A Classic Sampler
Beowulf / Viking Poetry
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Green Knight and Pearl
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New Changes & Old
Boon George Johnston
Heat-weary head the humid morning
moves with mounting menace into day;
dims the deep woods, dulls the skyline.
Sullen, slow-paced sisterhood of haze
hover hang-breasted hairy over fields,
fill with forthcoming flood and thunder.
Thirst threads earth in thin rootlets,
reaches restlessly rock-branched for water
waiting for weather's wild-handed boon.
Breath, a first breeze brightens aspens
airy, easy. All at once dark
dour-faced, driving, day's burden
bursts in a blind flash blunders among trees,
twists over tops, tears bits away.
Outgush, Earth-hammer issue of gods,
grandeur that gives and grieves, magnificent.
Copyright © George Johnson, 1990.
Originally published in
Endeared by Dark: reprinted by permission
of the author.