The Poetry of Ellin Anderson

The Rooster at Midsummer

Ellin Anderson

I found no soothing sleep, I could not rest
Imprisoned by the primal summer night,
And so I rose to walk among the blessed,
The long-since dressed, who greet the waking light
Strong sons of Adam, early at their work;
Eve's daughters, livened with the waxing year
And stepped through sunlit vapor, in the murk
That held the noise of merry birds, to hear
A herald of the summer's blue nativity:
The rooster singing from captivity.

Singing, in truth! His brazen ringing crow
That soars from barn and pasture, lent its sound
To torrid Edens that he used to know,
Gold spurs upon the jasmine-shaded ground
As he would call his harem to his side:
Red-helmeted, a flame in glad array,    
Unsleeping, strong, and wary for each bride;
Mirrored on steeples, gilded like the day,
He thrives in lands of grace and artifice:
Not just a bird a bird of paradise.

There was a captive, crowned with bloody thorns,
Beaten, betrayed, and into prison hurled.
The surety of eternal summer morns:
A night whose lamps of vigil lit the world.
And crowing twice, made silver by the moon,
All innocent, the desert cockerel
I hear within this daisy-spangled June
Helped set the rock that blocks the mouth of Hell;
Sampler of Heaven, stitch on feathered stitch:
No cloth of Arras could be half as rich.

I cross the street, I see the weathered barn;
From lark-filled fields, there comes the sound of mowing.
Soft mist has left the waters of the tarn,
And in its sheen, I find the rooster crowing:
Plumed red and emerald, standing on one leg;
And there upon the straw, the prideful hen
Clucks her content, the mother of an egg,
And shares her counsel with the world of men:
Don't fret about the little things at hand,
The dust, the noise for the design is grand.

2010 by Ellin Anderson. All rights reserved.
No part of this work may be copied or used in any way
without written permission from the author.

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Tiger and Blue Jewel

Winter's Hill
Maple-Key Song
November in Camelot

Wassail Song
Liberty Enlightens the People
The Leap
The Goldfinch
Three Bears
Song of the Lily
White Tree at Twilight
The Christmas Tree

Grand Bois du Nord
The Owl
Moth Summer
The Little God of Joy
Photographing the Moon
A Rabbit
Rose, Do You Know
The Two Pining Bachelors

The Harvest Chorus
The Maple Mask
Ghost Cardinal

The Little Heath-Rose
The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Song for the Harp

The Spinner
The Prayer of Cephalus
Circe and Ulysses
The Black Arts
Tristan and Isolde & Jupiter's Two Casks

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More Poems by Ellin Anderson

The Little Mermaid
Anne's Hearth