Poem: Dominic Munton, History & English
Illustration: Asbjørn Oddane Gundersen
Tell me a story to brighten my heart,
Sing me a song of worlds set apart,
Take me away to a faraway place,
Where angels and ghouls cavort and embrace,
Tell me a tale to inspire and delight,
Give me the strength my battles to fight.
Far away, far away, blown on the breeze,
Over the mountains and under the seas,
Long ago, long ago, older than light,
There dawned the first day,
Right after first night,
And as the sweet sun shared first kiss with sky,
A wondrous bird took wing and didst fly,
Her radiant feathers swept over the land,
Awaking new life to dreams long planned,
Hear me, oh hear me! Deep down in the ground, The moment has come to let go and be found
Deep down in the darkness, all under the earth,
There came a great stirring as death it gave birth,
The bird of beginnings swooped down from above,
She laughed and she sang her soft song of love:
“Awake and arise, new life born from old,
It’s time to wake up, be bright and be bold,
The day is so fresh, the air is so clear,
Step into the world, you’ve nothing to fear,
Hear me, oh hear me! Deep down in the ground,
The moment has come to let go and be found,
Be brave and be strong, trust in your hearts,
Send out your roots and reach for the stars,
Be love, oh be love, the moment is come,
Break free of your bonds and dance in the sun!”
Fly along, fly along, bird of first Spring,
Wake up this new earth passing under your wing…
Suddenly, the sun disappears from the sky,
Day turns to night and rain starts to fly,
Clouds pile on clouds,
Bigger and blacker,
Lightning strikes down,
Kaboom and kersplacker!
The bird of new birth is nowhere to be found,
Her song drowned out by the thunderous sound…
Rain drums down on new earth’s skin,
New life below retreats within,
“I’m scared, I’m scared!” pipes one meek seed,
His shell pulled tight in dire need,
“It is the end!” calls out a wail,
“We will all die! We will all fail!
We cannot live exposed above,
Dark earth ’s for us, we need no love!”
And so the seeds begin to doubt,
They fret and fray till one calls out,
The smallest grain lifts up his voice:
“Hear me friends! We have a choice!
We do not know what lies above,
We’ve heard both storm and songs of love!
Perhaps it’s life, perhaps it’s not,
But I don’t want to stay and rot!
So quick, so quick, have you forgot?
Our life down here, our humble lot?”
At this some seeds bestir a mutter,
But others, “Shush!” their hearts aflutter,
“You heard the bird,” the little one cries,
“A seed must grow before it dies!
Our destiny lies far above,
In day’s sweet light and night’s dark love!”
A ragged cheer spreads among,
The humble seeds where life’s begun,
From storm above the rain pours down,
Water seeps into the ground,
Through the dirt she twists and turns,
Till seedlings’ home her way it worms.
Softly now lest one she miss,
Upon each seed she plants a kiss,
Each kiss soaks through seed’s hard skin,
Watering the love within,
Though they know not, yes, it’s true,
Inside each seed is love soaked through.
Now the magic spell is made,
The seeds grow fat with water’s aid,
Geronimo! They scream and shout,
As their skins burst and green shoots out,
All through the earth a million seeds,
Wake to new life as water feeds,
Storm’s love raises one and all,
Some short and sweet, some huge and tall,
The soil erupts with verdant flames,
Huge swathes of green no wind come tame,
Grasses, flowers, ferns and moss,
Creepers, vines, green crowns a toss,
And through it all a giant appears,
A mighty tree, no heights he fears,
Far beyond the other trees,
He stretches out his marvelous leaves,
His trunk, a rocket to the stars,
Out beyond the Moon and Mars!
The canopy lies far below,
When finally growth starts to slow,
Above the clouds his crown unfurls,
His leaves drink in Sun’s precious pearls.
The clouds melt away like snow in Spring,
And sun shines down on new green kin,
A thousand leaves return her kiss,
Whilst far below roots rest in bliss,
A playful breeze tumbles down,
Her path a dance through nature’s gown.
From far away a dark speck grows,
It’s bird’s return from these to those!
And look, she’s brought her family too,
A glorious flock of gold and blue,
They come to rest, where will they land?
Amongst the plants, close to the ground?
No! Of course, they’re born of sky,
So to the highest tree they fly!
There amongst the branches full,
They settle in and start to pull
at leaves and twigs to build their homes,
Far from the ground where danger roams.
One bird turns unto the next,
Gives her wings a little flex:
“Now I’ve seen it all, bless me!
Barren earth gone foresty!
Now it’s here, of course, all’s well,
But, y’know, we cannot tell…
I wonder, if they ever doubted?
Under the earth when thunder shouted?
Did it scare, what lay ahead,
The fear of change or future dead?”
“For a moment, yes, it’s known,”
Boomed the tree to which they’d flown,
“We were scared, I won’t deny,
To leave our safety for the sky,
But one spoke out, the smallest seed,
Inspired our hearts in hour of need,
The smallest seed dared hope the most,
Cast out the fear we’d all played host.”
“Where is he now then?” the bird cawed,
Scanning the trees o’er which she’d soared.
“That tiny seed you need not seek,
For I am standing right beneath your feet!”