my poem's mythology

wisdom      sounding the fifth note of our Winter

becoming attuned to cycles and resurrection, 
and that there is no end!

I have used mythology that tells of the Yew being about the End, but also tells of the Yew being of the Resurrection.

Through many ages, Bards have shared stirring stories of Ioho the Yew being an arouser of the dark side of spirits, and our fear. They tell tales about Yew roots weaving through the skulls of corpses of those fallen with life passed on.

They tells us of the Yew being the bringer of transformation and resurrection, as the Yew is a tree that continually re-births itself from within.

Like the Yew, my story poem completes a cycle while beginning another as a never endng spiral; perhaps proving there is a lot we can learn from the rings of a tree trunk.

to read my Ioho the Yew story poem, please click here to indulge ...

my Ioho the Yew story poem explained ...

This 20th, longest, and perhaps the most complex of my twenty story poems of Ogma's Tale Of The Trees returns to the Deravid again.  I introduced the Deravid through my Fearn The Alder story poem.

Some folks call themselves Druids or the Drui, today. To me, many seem to adorn this title to position themselves as heads of something. An Order maybe? A modern church is built to serve as a gathering place of an Order too. To me, the adornment a druid chooses to wear is an attempt to follow an Order tradition.

So where has this tradition has come from? Old literature and old photos give clues, maybe? What about the interpretations through television shows and movies.

My approach is not to judge the faith of the people I call Deravids here. I believe they are trying to find their "way", like all of us, as eachers teaching what they need to know.

Whoever he is, and however he is, this Deravid dwells among the ancient Yews believing that his "guide", spirit guide I presume, will reveal what he needs to know. Yes, he is a "he" for very good reason here.

Next verse throws in a comparison of extremes. I feature silent people in retreat within a stone cell while passing by near them is the extreme of noisy jolly people going off to the fair. The stone imagery among the silent people here is very important as it would include stone images carved by human hand.

At this point I ask why do we need silence and meditation. Why not just drop "everything", call some friends, get social with each other, have some fun and "go with the flow"?

Through the third verse the Deravid is now speaking. I think we can now assume this is Ogma. Here he is making a judgement, as he measures the revellers against the retreaters.

Continuing into the next verse he mentions "Chains of this so called deadly yew?". What is unraveling here?

Ogma is requesting that we serve healthier service.

Instead of commanding Order that has driven people into fear of committing "old time wrongs",  how about letting our pure inspired conscience guide the way we live? Ogma the Deravid goes on to explain this as letting "love and light" overcome "sin and night". Night here being being a symbol of darkness, of course.

The Deravid then calls the Bard to closely view the Yew as "this very intriguing tree that renews".

For many people, the Yew tree is a symbolic tree within cemeteries, the last resting place where lifeless embalmed bodies are buried and eventually decay. A yew may be regarded a guarding a place of death, the end of our lifves, especially as itself is a very toxic tree, but is it?

Eventually the worms will feed on these buried bodies and transform them from their human form into food that feeds other new life.

The yew is not like other trees that grows, lives a life and dies. From the centre of the Yew, its trunk is constantly renewing itself with new vibrant young wood that grows outwards and ages over the years.

When we visit cemeteries we may fill our thoughts with images of our heroes lost and buried under stones. What if we thought of those heroes as having let go of all they were, and by doing so give its life to feed new seeds that sprout and be born..

Have you seen the green cemeteries, the new cemeteries that are reverence towards a belief in renewal rather than complete death. Where a fallen body lays, no longer is reverence to a lifeless stone. A buried body's flesh and spirit is allowed to be free and transform into a new tree that grows in its place. .

I then take the poem away from the Deravid and question whether what do we really think of living.

Is living something we try to control from birth to death, following a linear path, or do we accept life as a cycle of cycles that we are part of while alive in our human body, and beyond when our body is done?

I then flow the story into thoughts about how in the same cemetery the young and old, rich and poor, masters and servant all lay together and how their spirits all go through the same door.

Then comes the words of the W.B. Yeats poem, "When We Are Old".

After this is the finale of the spiral of this Ogma's Tale Of The Trees.

Here we complete the tale's 360 degrees before the spiral continues on into another sprial orbit. For a moment the veil of the entire passed cycle opens up all together

I say why I love to retreat among the trees.

I ask when the Resurrection will be firmly affirmed

I provoke the cold and starkness that some people may feel through the faith they are told to follow.

I quote a verse from Tennyson who's full poem of the Yew fixates on the Yew being of our End

I followed that with a verse from Wordsworth who seems to speak of the Yew as a regenerating passing

"What if here the bee love not these barren boughs?"
where would our lives be,
where would all lives be?

The overall theme of this Ogma's Tale Of The Trees is then revealed.

Yes, you, me, everyone, we can all be bards, all be evergreen
dependable as nature made us, to connect with all things.

Nobody can ever teach or serve us what we learn
but everyone can serve what they have, what they know, so others may be inspired.

My thought here is that every teacher only teaches what the teacher needs to learn
... and this is what bonds us from this world and into the next

Where Beith The Birch is the first life on this earth ...

Through this entire work I ask -
find The Bard within yourself,
do not let anyone try to take that away from you
because this is of life itself, as nature intended.

Now off I go and do some Forest Bathing :-)
You are invited to share this with me.

to read about to grow and care for your own Yew trees, please click here