Ithilien Sunset

Lips of rose, the sweetest taste of summer bees;
Beeswax tapers flicker and pool late this warm evening.
Wooden sun dipping into honeyed clouds at end of day,
Red as berries crushed between a child's teeth.
Golden thread and pale hands,
Waterfall's crescents and circles of moonlight move in the water.
Blackened wood and rotting bark, spongy mulch and river mould.
The scents are heady, the sights beyond dreaming.
Walk with me, beloved.

Up towards the mountains, in the winter
Silver-edged fir trees shall whisper with a burden of snow,
Silence and muffle the wood under its woolen cloak.
Sharp-edged ice-crusts shall cut the fetters of starving deer
Leaving their red-lace droplets in the snow.
A merciless beauty found as readily in the shapely curve of bone
As in rising moon or scented bud.
Out upon the plains, the wind shall mourn the frozen grasses,
And all life breathe softly, deep in burrows or bowers.
In the wood, the cry of the hunted echoes in the silence.

But then the springtime will come, beloved.
Amid pungent needles matted under moss, soft as any lover's bower.
Fern will uncurl, hiding last season's crumpled remains under a new green.
Life embracing death, as is the way of this world.
Saw-toothed grasses, blades that could steal away a life
Will rustle softly in the shade, sheathed in bindweed and creeping vine.
The scars of war will begin to fade. The fountains will find their voices.
How soft is this early winter night, past the summer's
Remembered warmth, flitting dreams of light.
The new life you have brought stirs within me.
A ruined garden once, but we shall tend it, you and I
And make our home beneath its fragrant boughs.