• William I. Atkinson

A Christmas Ode

For M.J.


The bells split distance as the night air splits Our breaths’ dim shadows from the forest floor, Making of each moonlit exhalation A gossamer epiphany. Bells, bells!


All not pure stillness is distilled in them: They boom at distance like immortals’ laughs, Hum, closer, through the concentrating oaks, And closer yet, bash wild and sombre bronze.


Above the table of the still hard marsh We wind, each foot in our forerunner’s steps, And dare not pause lest joy should root us fast.

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