Tuesday, April 8, 2014

“G” is for The “Green Man”

greenman10With this blog, I would like to introduce you to another of Russ Kelly’sG poems, the Green Man. The green man is a mythological being, prevalent in the British Isles, who represents nature. Very often, in Pagan rites, he is represented by a young man completely adorned in greenery, as Russ has described below in his poem. The theme of the green man has been used repeatedly in architecture and other types of art forms, as well as literature through the ages. And now, I present to you the Green Man, by Russ Kelly.                                        


Down by the sea, the thundering sea

where the river is flowing, its waters to end,

there stands an oak, a venerable tree

with branches that drop to the water and send

its leaves to the ocean, and leaves to the wind.greenman sculpture


A leaf in the wind. Its memory brings

The wicker and mistletoe back to the tree-

A golden sickle, a man who sings

A prayer to the gods, a bright panoply

To flames that are burning, and burning below.


And above is the Green Man,

and below is the Green Man,

all round is the Green Man,

laughing, and dancing…


Dance by the tree, the Maypole Tree,

dance with the Green Man, a circle to make,

on Midsummer’s Night, or All Hallows Eve,

dance in the forests and valleys and take

the Man by his arm, the branch by its leaves…


And the branch is the Green Man,

and the oak is the Green Man,

all round is the Green Man,

laughing, and dancing…

© 2014 by Mary Purpari and Russ Kelly


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you. Russ was very talented, and I'm sorry (for a lot of other reasons, too) that he won't be writing any others. He was interested in so many things, and described them so aptly in his poetry.

  2. Russ was a talented poet and through you, he lives on, Mary. Another keeper! ☺
    Debbie @The Doglady's Den

    1. Sooner or later--during the challenge and in future entries, I will publish all but one of his poems. Thank you for dropping by, Debbie.

  3. There is a certain warmth in being surrounded by so much Green :) Thank you for this poem. First time I am hearing of the poet!

    A to Z Challenge, 2014/ UBC, April 2014

    1. Russ was indeed an excellent poet. Unfortunately, he left us on December 28, 2014, but as Debbie Doglady said, he lives on through his poetry. He deserves to be recognized.

  4. Beautiful! Russ was so talented! Thanks for sharing that, Mary :-)

    1. Thank you, Teresa. And you're welcome--he deserves to be remembered and recognized for the talent he had.


I would really love to read your thoughts, so leave a comment so we can all converse. Thanks.