to walk the avenue of sacred lindens
and climb the steep hill
that leaves me breathless
to where light falls
across golden fields and sleeping volcanoes.
She says, terrible and beautiful
in her majesty, "Show me what you can offer."
I unfold my tents in the market
that is already hot and busy.
I proffer dolls that were lost by little girls
and toy soldiers broken by lost boys
and a rocking horse that can fly across the sky
and mirrors where you can see more of yourself
whether you like it or not.
My tents open into each other
making a breezeway that can float you
to the place of the stuffed animals
whose shadows are giant lions and bears
that walk by themselves.
The Lady accepts what I have to give.
She calls me through the tent flaps
to taste the harvest she is stirring in her bowl
and enter her glorious embrace.
With apples and cherries on my tongue
I become a tree on her mountain
streaming with the juice of many fruits
putting roots down and down, deep and wide
able, on her fertile ground, to draw lightning
and hold it without falling, spreading wings of light.
from a journey to Mount Říp, in the heart of the Czech heartland.