Each evening at Oracle 2022, our leaders gathering held in Potosi, Missouri, we gathered around “Grandfather Fire” to offer gifts of poetry, story, drumming, movement, and song. The following was offered by Illuman SoCal Convener Mark Infusino.
One morning many years ago our men’s work elder, poet John Whyte, was walking through a farm in the Snowdon mountains of Wales. In Welsh these mountains are called “Eryrie” meaning “the mountains of longing”. He was on his way to an Easter breakfast. Suddenly he found himself chanting a chant which became this poem:
A garden inside me, unknown, secret,
neglected for years,
the layers of its soil deep and thick.
Trees in the corners with branching arms
and the tangled briars like broken nets.
Sunrise through the misted orchard,
morning sun turns silver on the pointed twigs,
I have woken from the sleep of ages and I am not sure
if I am really seeing, or dreaming,
or simply astonished
walking towards sunrise
to have stumbled into the garden
where the stone was rolled from the tomb of longing.
EASTER MORNING IN WALES
From RIVER FLOW: New and Selected Poems
© David Whyte and Many Rivers Press