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Poetry and Musings

The following is a collection of poems and musings that landed on me beginning in May and up through the present.  I want to spend more of my time crafting poetry, even really bad poetry, because it allows me the opportunity to approach my relationship to the land from a different perspective.  When I have to change the rules of language to support a thought it allows me creativity and Awen comes to wash me clean again.  I hope that you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.

 

Becoming the Pine

There is a Blue Spruce

in the yard

and it filters light

through the kitchen window

on grey days it catches the rain

while I watch out the window with my son

the water tumbles over 

the green needles

to the eager mound of Earth

stepping out the front door

a toddler hugging my knees

the rain washes over

my twisted limbs

upon my growing son

I am a graying elder

I am a growing child

 

Musing:

There are times when I want the roof of my home to crack open like an eggshell over my head and let the rain pour in and soak everything.  There are times when I want a dying pine tree to topple over and make his final resting place in my bedroom.  Invite the Wild into my living room, let the black bears hibernate in my couch, the raccoon can eat canned ravioli in the kitchen sink, the seagulls can nest in the bathtub.  My son will play with coyote pups and my wife will teach knitting to the groundhogs.  I will listen to the sound of chickadees nesting in the open microwave and the mice will use the oven racks for a jungle gym.  Ivy will grow up the wall and over the television, moss will cover the electrical outlets.  Beavers will dam up the washing machine and flood the basement.  There is a moose sifting garbage in the garage and a family of deer are playfully jumping up and down on the hood of the car.  In the bedroom, the mirror fell off the wall and stares at the sky in surrender.

 

Blood Rite

Stepping out into the wild next door

I walk with ungraceful strides over the ferns and through the witch hazel,

in the place of four bears,

sometimes my footsteps cross their tracks

and nothing is familiar

except maybe the mosquitoes

my bare arms are not bear arms

and the sentinel pines offer no protection

and while I wander over mossy rocks in large dumb circles

the wild watches me in spreading awareness

like a fly caught in a gossamer thread

and the twisted trunks smile at me in amusement

the mosquitoes draw her price from me a thousand times

and my arms are itchy scars

Nature is a blood rite.

 

Black Fly Tidings of May

Black beads buzzing around my head in silly circles

Lightly touching, itching,

scratching

Shooing away from ears and eyes.

I’m not sure why it makes me sigh.

Wondering,

Dreaming,

Leaning,

Leaning on a White Pine,

There is Honey in my beard and a buzzing in my ears,

with my back touching the tree I’ve known for years.

 

Skiing into the Summerland

Blessed is the smell of earth in the springtime up one’s nose,

And blessed is the grass one feels in between their naked toes,

And blessed is the sun we feel, upon our naked brow,

And blessed is the carefree feel, as before the spring we bow.

Before the gnats and mosquitoes perch, to taste our red liquor,

Below the skin their proboscis search, and drive us back indoors,

We have but a week, or perhaps 10 days, before the armies fly,

To lay upon the greening Earth and bask beneath the sky.

To whit young man upon the ground, his lady love in reach,

And naked laying arms outstretched, might be a summers ripened peach

If the armies of the black fly king, were to search and seek him out,

And chase that screaming ninny fool, that whining silly lout.

Yet bask he does beneath the sun of summer’s prognostication,

Upon the grass, beneath a tree in the land of eternal vacation.

Without a mosquito or black fly found, to land upon his skin,

And seek the beating blood and veins that he has so rich within.

The sun declines on western lines, the coolness never felt,

As his naked form has lost for norm, a overcoat or pelt.

And as the twilight settles in, his lady gone to home,

The night begins just warm enough, to simply cool his bones.

As the mistress moon glides overhead, the Earth sheds off her heat,

And the coolness of the sod below, sucks fire from his seat.

He shivers lightly in the night, frost forming on his lips

And in the dawning of the light, has crowned his fingertips.

His feet won’t thrum, his heart won’t beat, his hands will ne’er grasp,

The feeling of the summer grass, the shuddering cold and final gasp,

The songs of summer soft and sweet, of grilled and charred and perfect meat,

The Spring in Maine is often cruel, by daytime Litha by nighttime Yule.

 

Another Musing

 Last night, I saw some clouds absolutely illuminated in silver moonlight though the moon remained obscured.  It drew my attention and I began thinking about this object in the night sky. Our ancestors identified the passage of time by all these easily observable celestial bodies.  This is of course, the basis for many of our Pagan festivals and holidays.

It fills me with a sense of awe(n) when I look at things online like computer models of the galaxy and galaxy clusters.  The distance between things in space is far more vast than what I can comprehend without relative terms.  I’ve heard people try to point out that this makes us insignificant and yet, I don’t feel insignificant.  I feel important and legitimate no matter how many stars and galaxies there may be.  I also feel that the way I see things is a unique perspective on how the Universe interprets itself and that my experiences are valid and real.

So I think about how Organic ritual must have been for our ancestors as they stared at stars and wondered about what they were and what it meant that they were there in the first place.  I imagine that sense of bewilderment and the meaning that came out of it.  It makes sense to start with celestial events.  I wonder if the celestial holidays, the observation of the changing Earth and the Seasons, isn’t our most observed holidays because it was the first and most recognizable.  I also love the idea of smaller rituals in which we honor more individual concepts to the gods of place.

In a very real sense, it seems to me that our ancestors probably did the exact same thing.  There were these large, observable correspondences upon which the basic structure hung and then they filled it in with other immediately observable events.  If you think about it, isn’t that exactly how life developed here in the first place?  A large blank canvas upon which life began and filled in organically?

 

~Alban Artur

 

Maiden, Mother, Crone and Warrior

Maiden, Mother, Crone and Warrior

 

Sweetest Maiden Sister,

Lover of the wild,

In all respects a blossoming

And happy little child.

We name you Springtime Maiden,

Treading softly through the trees,

Awakening the flowers,

Your laughter on the breeze.

Beneath you, seeds are sprouting;

Above you, warm, the sun.

Around you, animals are born

Now that Spring’s begun.

The innocence of childhood,

The joy of simple things;

We find in you beginnings new

And pleasure without stings.

Blodewedd of blossoms,

The Vernal Goddess bright

Who brings the rains that nurture seeds

And longer days of light.

 

Great Goddess Mother,

Watching over all,

Lovingly we praise you

And you hear us when we call.

We call to you as Brigit,

The hearth and home you rule,

The holy wells and blacksmith’s forge

With love the burning fuel.

We name you, too, as Lakshmi,

Of wealth and hope you sing;

Candles lit in praise of you,

For happiness you bring.

The fullness of the Summer

With fields so ripe and round,

Your body in its glory,

The grand and fertile ground.

The King Stag your companion,

Your partner, God of love

Who walks with you in fields if green

And in the clouds above.

 

You, the Elder Goddess

Honored Lady of the best,

The Wheel can’t turn without you –

Our fair planet needs to rest.

You are the Harvest Goddess

Within the grain and corn,

And all that falls will rise again,

Life’s promise thus reborn.

We name you as Nokomis,

The Goddess of the field,

Giving of your body

When the gardens fail to yield.

We call to you as Winter Queen

Who puts the earth to bed –

The Goddess of the quiet times,

Keeper of the dead.

Rising with the crescent moon,

Falling with the rain;

Walking Winter’s frozen land

So silent once again.

 

And the Mighty Warrior,

She of sword and spear,

Confident within herself,

Strong – no sign of fear.

We name you as Diana

Who hunts with spear and bow –

The lives you take are done with honor,

And respect you show.

And you, the Goddess Morrigan,

The Celtic Queen of war,

Black crow of the battlefield

Who feasts on death and gore.

Goddess of the Dark Phase,

Of those things that we hide,

Our anger and our vengefulness,

The things we keep inside.

But also you’re our power

The strength of blood and bone,

The competence of women

That the brave have always shown.

 

© LSG 2:02PM 1.19.2010

Brighid

Imbolc lays before us deep

As all the world lies still, asleep.

And in this time of seeming death,

We’re livened by Midwinter’s breath.

The celebration of this time

Is done with stories, song and rhyme.

Here in Winter’s deepest cold

We find you, Brighid, kind and bold.

 

With joy, the bride doll now is made –

The children dance a brisk parade.

Old and young folk, one and all,

Do bless the lovely white-clad doll.

And then the bride is laid abed

With blossom garlands at her head,

And at her feet, all shod in white,

A candle, lit to share its light.

 

Lady of the Holy Wells,

We chant your name and ring the bells

To honor you this special day,

Our trials and fears all laid away.

Crosses made of golden wheat

And flowers are laid at your feet.

The bread is baking, tried and true –

With mead, full cups we lift to you.

 

Lady of the blacksmiths’ fire,

You of love and heart’s desire,

Shed your glow on all our lives,

Sons and daughters, husbands, wives.

Forge us in the glowing coals,

Strong in body, mind, and soul.

Lady Brighid, shining bright,

We seek your blessings on this night.

 

The Lady of Yule

The Lady of Yule

 

On the night of Yule

The stars shone like jewels

In a sky that was clear as black glass

I was walking through woods

And stopped where I stood

With my heart in a seeming morass

 

Finding sadness everywhere

I was lost in despair

In this season of coldness and death

But my head turned around
As the wind bore the sound

Of a baby’s first in-taken breath

 

I entered a clearing where a fire blazed on

And a woman sat wrapped in warm furs

A child at her breast lay in comfort and rest

And then my eyes gazed into Hers

 

I was lifted above

My heart bursting with love

As I knew Her, the Goddess of Life

Having just given birth

Bringing new life to Earth

‘Twas the promise of the end of strife

 

The sweet newborn child

In this woodland so wild

Was the Hope and the gift that we need

And the Green He shall bring

With the coming of Spring

When the tendril shall split from the seed

 

She spoke to me then in a voice clear as rain

And she told me, “Child, look deep within

For the green in your heart which never departs”

Tears of gratitude rolled off my chin.

 

I met Her that night

And my soul knew delight

That I never would lose Her a-more

For the love that She spoke

In my spirit awoke

And had opened a hard-shuttered door

 

I no longer fear cold

Or the Sun getting old

For I know that the Winter shall fly

And the light will return

It’s the lesson I learned

On a deep and dark night of Yuletide

 

© Lorelei Greenwood 12.9.2012

Samhain Prayer

 

In this night

where veils are thinnest

and the cries of our Beloved Dead

can be heard across waves of time,

think upon the past,

see where your feet have trodden,

and learn from the landmarks and trail blazes you left behind.

 

In this night

when Harvest is over,

abundance is gathered and cold awaits,

look to the future,

plan and ponder,

but lose not yourself in the dreaming that is so tempting on these long nights.

 

In this night

where past and present linger

and beings open up to the worlds beyond,

pay homage, do honor,

and count your blessings,

for the waves of time roll on with or without us as we pilot our own boats on this sea of life.

 

Samhain

 

Today is Blessed Samhain,

And harvest-time is done.

The leaves and fruits have fallen;

Less warmly shines the sun.

The days are crisp and windy,

The nighttime brisk and clear.

Full bellies and full larders –

We slumber without fear.

 

We light the sacred fires

To celebrate this time

And drum the Earth’s own heartbeat

With songs and chants in rhyme.

We sing the Mother’s praises

And send Her off to sleep

And speak of our ancestors

Safely in Her keep.

 

The Reaper does his duty,

His sharpened sickle bright,

His bony charger treading

The quiet streets this night.

The souls of dear departed

The Summerland to find –

And Death collects them, one and all,

So none are left behind.

 

Cry welcome to the spirits

Of our Beloved Dead –

We share with them sweet water

And break the new-made bread.

We share as well the stories,

The memories and tales

That make our dead ones live again

With love that never fails.

 

This last day of the old year

To neither time belongs,

And in a place that’s not a place

We chant the sacred songs.

And in the holy Circle,

From first light unto last,

With laughter and remembrance,

We speak of times gone past.

 

So come ye now to Samhain,

Elder, youth, and bairn.

With loving thoughts and kindness,

Set a stone upon the cairn.

Then clasp the hand beside you,

For soon we shall depart,

And keep the days of Autumn

Full deep within your hearts.

 

Samhain

 

The season of death and of endings is here

And with it comes doubtfulness, worries and fear.

But trust in the Lady and trust in the Lord

As we all move toward Samhain with a single accord.

The pumpkins we carved, now all glowing and orange,

The grand, creepy sound of an old creaking door hinge.

Slithering shadows and sneaky black cats,

Whispering breezes and high-swooping bats;

Fairies and monsters with wings on their backs,

Ghosties and goblins are running in packs.

Kids all in costumes who run door to door –

Pagans, we know what this night’s really for!

Do divination and play party games,

Knowing that folks ‘round the world do the same.

Visiting ancestors’ gravesites and mounds,

Blessing the Earth and Her soon-sleeping grounds.

The Reaper

 

Autumn has come in all of its glory;

The evening shadows grow deeper.

Bounty is won, and low sinks the sun

As everything waits for the Reaper.

 

Turkey and pheasant and duck on the wing

Never know when Archer’s arrows will sing.

Deer in the field stand ready to run,

Waiting the sound of the Huntsman’s gun.

 

The sun starts His yearly descent into death

As Earth turns from giver to keeper.

Like a child at the breast, we start into our rest —

And everything waits for the Reaper.

 

Apples stand waiting in bushel and sack

To someday be applesauce, cider and jack.

Wheat turns to flour and barley to beer –

The Green Man has done all His growing this year.

 

Cellars and larders are bursting with bounty —

Nothing on branch, root, or creeper.

Growing is done; the harvest begun —

Now everything waits for the Reaper.

Samhaintide

 

Ring the bell and light the fire –

It’s Samhain once again.

Gather in the harvest hall

With family and friends.

Crops are in and trees are bare

And fox soon seeks his den –

With cooler days and longer nights

We’re now at Summer’s end.

 

Call the quarters, hail the gods,

The gentle and the bold;

Hail the passing of the sun

Whose light is dimmed by cold.

Hail the bounty of the earth,

A wonder to behold.

Pass the bread and share the mead

And bless all, young and old.

 

Lanterns cast a golden glow

As Circle Is trod ‘round.

Every voice is lifted high

In joyous sacred sound.

Veggies added one by one,

A growing gorgeous mound,

As we bless the wondrous food

That came from out the ground.

 

Now we sing in praise of those

Who’ve passed from life before;

The veil is thin and we can see

Beloved Dead once more.

Share the tales and memories

And songs from days of yore.

Refresh the love and thoughts of those

That we love and adore.

 

We thank those things that held our space,

The north, south, west and east.

We counted things that bless our lives,

The greatest and the least.

The Magick’s done for health and wealth,

Our fortunes all increased.

So now is time for Circle’s end

And then to start the feast.

 

Local meats and veggies, breads,

And apple crisps and pies

Load the feasting tables full

And cause contented sighs.

And later still, the harvest ball –

We wear our best disguise –

And dance we all in merriment,

The young ones and the wise.

 

We celebrate the season

In an ancient Pagan way,

With ritual and honest thanks

And Rede which we obey,

And of course forgiveness

When we sometimes go astray.

And at this time, may I wish you

A blessed Samhain day.