Ioho the Yew ... wisdom

part of this includes "When You Are Old" by W.B.Yeats

When the Deravid walked through woods of old, 
Solemnly stalking dressed in white and gold.  
To visit and dwell among ancient yews , 
Where his guide would reveal what he needs to choose.  

Pilgrims resting in a cell, 
Carved in stone by Brighid's well, 
While others tramped by, going to the fair,  
Joking about mirth and the haggling they'll do there.  

Bard dare to come here once more, 
Muse over mysteries ready to pour 
Over these heathen types 150% proof,  
Overgrown by the their diet of gospel truth. 

Be of healthy service, there's much for us to do 
To loosen the chains of this so called deadly yew. 
Haul them away to create happier years 
That topple old time wrongs that breed our fears. 

Of being close and connected to love and light,  
That overwhelms the reign of sin and night, 
For out of darkness, emptiness, and woe, 
Let's incubate happiness to share with all we know.
Bard, dare to be called to what is here to view 
Within this very intriguing tree that renews; 
Monster trunk, with giant limbs of bows, 
And intersecting roots, where spirit flows. 

The yew is said to reign through midnight calm 
O’er the bodies of those we chose to embalm. 
Unknown to us it feeds the seed that gave us birth, 
From an alchemy of love, light and dust from earth. 

The yews that for so long have been spared, 
Gracing hallowed spaces, where treading is dared. 
When lightnings flash we fear tempests rage, 
We do not harm them, we let them age. 

With stern reluctance yews have often spoke 
Quivering their arms before a woodman’s stroke; 
Inducing an undefined fear of their consecrated ground 
That the woodmen feel empowered to erect fences around. 

For many years I have measured the endless steps I tread
Through ancient mounds where laid many sleeping heads, 
That paid the debt of forcing nature into dead end hallows
Until their lives passed away into these sombre shadows.

Here the young, old, rich, the poor, 
Our friends, and any foes, use the same door, 
Servants with their masters together lay; 
The worms must feed on all of us one day.

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

I love to retreat among the trees 
Away from worldly cares I'm set free, 
Separating me from any recognition of headstones,  Reminding me they'll always be life in these bones. 

When will real tongues affirm the Resurrection,  
Instead of giving us false direction. 
Belief in tenderness must become the handle   
That lifts and cares, maybe gentled by a candle

Inside the church, stained glass casts light that's blue  Floating light that freezes us to the cold pews.  
Our hands and faces stiffen with holiness. 
Our spirits are baptized with its starkness.

Old Yew, which graspest at the stones  
That name the under-lying dead, 
Thy fibres net the dreamless head, 
Thy roots are wrapt about the bones.

Nay, Traveller! rest here.  
This lonely yew-tree stands  
Far from all human dwelling  
What if here the bee love not these barren boughs?

Who, through any silent hour of inward thought,  
Can revere lowliness of heart, it must be thwart.  
Bard, this Yew connects all you are, all you seek, 
No openings, no conclusions, no! no! this is not weak.

Yes, you can always be evergreen; 
Always be part of all you have seen;  
Solid and dependable as nature made you; 
Wise bard, connecting with all like the regenerating Yew.

I will leave you now but as I leave I also return. 
I can never serve you all you will learn, 
But I can give you all I have through voice and text  
As we are bonded friends in this life and into the next.

Where Beith the Birch is the first life on this earth 
Born here from another world, they say.

From this first birch 
all trees, 
all plants, 
all animals 
and ourselves 
were served the first breath of life.

And Ogma's Tale Of The Trees is told once more. 

to read an explanation of this story poem please click here