Masterwort (Angelica)

Thick and fleshy, stout
the quick light upward spouts,
into such hands that Michael
(his angelic eyes so fierce,
yet gentle for such as you),
touched by your finesse, plucked
this fluted stem so full of green
and yellow flowers, the powers
of healing in its roots & seeds;
the laughter in the sun, enchanting
us beyond this mirth of days,
the crush of pestle in the mortar,
sprinkled herb of glory, an elixir;
else a cure of drunken fools,
who smoke too much, and rabid
dogs who bite into the night;
sought in April or May, boiled
down into the sugar cane,
for those candied sweetmeats
you love so much, the salads
refreshed by those large leaves
dipped in hot butter, ready: raw,
the slip of taste upon the tongue;
or the liqueurs old Monks charmed,
else “Eau de Carnes”, the fragrant
waters for the sweet abode of Friars;
a cure of plague and witches, chewed
by villagers on Michaelmas, or carried
in bands as protection for the darkness

and, even baby laughter is heard, oiled
in the merciful “Fiery Wall of Protection”.
Wear a garland round your head tonight,
inspiration will find that poem you seek;
remove those curses and hexes always,
throw those stalks into your bathwaters;
cook down rhubarb and gooseberries,
and that acid taste will be quenched;
enjoy those garlic cloves, crisped and fried,
and sprinkle the fruited waters over you;
a musty room cleansed by those burned seeds;
and a sprig against those witches’ spells.
One more thing: take that bruised root,
boil it down, add honey, stir; now drink your tea.
Enjoy your day: you’ve had your lesson, now!

 – Steven Craig Hickman ©2014 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited.

Notes: Doing a new series to go with my Tree Poems. An Herbal with all the old time legends, wivestales, etc. added in…



2 thoughts on “Masterwort (Angelica)

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