Samhaintide

Prepare now
for the Samhaintide
make ready
for the delicate dawns
the diaphanous dusks
are upon us.

They will not last long,
these daybreakings
these nightfallings,
before we realise
all will return to what
we know well
and cope with better.

As the light shrinks itself
making room for expanding darkness,
when the constellations
more brightly dance
singing across the star strewn sky,
we keep the Samhiantide.

Out the corner of the eye,
was that a shimmer,
a swiftly darting energy
manifested momentarily,
the shadow stealthily
moving as a cloud across sky?

Barely audible
almost beyond our hearing,
was that thrumming,
the muffled chanting of the ancestors,
just the comfortable side of discordant,
who no longer sing in our harmonies
whose melodies grate the senses?

Yet, yet the sight of them fills
us with wonder and reassurance,
their musics astonish offering us solace,
we do not know how
it is possible for us to understand.

Samhaintide,
prepare to encounter what
we do not expect and accept
what we embodied
do not now understand.

The mystery of death,
the other birth
shrouded until the last moments,
and let us not wait until death is upon us,
to embrace and be embraced by
the reality we are not alone
either in our living or our dying.

Open and let go,
prepare now
for the Samhaintide
make ready
for the delicate dawns
the diaphanous dusks
are upon us.

They will not last long,
these daybreakings
these nightfallings,
before we realise
all will return to what
we know well
and cope with better . . .
unless we choose
a different way of being.

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The Old Ways

The old ways the paths
we no longer fully understand,
folkways and ancestralways,
those based on superstition
those based on the tales of wise women
those based on reading the omens,
of following the signs attentively
of listening and watching
aware apprehensive anxious,
but trusting the truths revealed.

The old ways would be paths
confounding us who think we
know better nature’s workings,
because modernity’s teachings,
forgetting the mystery
ignoring the majesty
flaunting our mastery,
shelter us from our ignorance,
of what we fail to accept
refuse to acknowledge.

The old ways are harsh paths
whose realities would stun us
whose practises would shock us
whose consequences would startle us
and leave us in our ignorance exposed,
for we have forgotten
the power of belief
the strength of conviction,
having left them behind
favouring what we consider
the strength of rationality
the power of proof.

The old ways were dangerous paths,
not always leading to anticipated destinations,
the results were not always consistent,
but neither are ours
cloaked in the respectability
of science’s experimental methodologies,
for we still wander lost
unable and unwilling to know
read the signs and accept the omens
within us and around us,
unable to name our true paths
and thinking we can make our own ways.

Written reflecting on this image

one I have seen in several places not far from where I live, including the garden on the hill behind my cottage, there it was a magpie.

The Ancestors

LISTEN! Listen. listen . . .

Do you hear them . . .
the whispers
screams
laughter
shouts
the weeping?

Are you paying attention
to the ancestors calling?

SENSE! Sense. sense . . .

Do you feel it . . .
the fluctuating of energies
the altering of dynamics
the shifting currents?

Have you noticed when suddenly
absence transmutes into presence?

WATCH! Watch. watch . . .

Do you see . . .
their memories hovering
over the water
as autumnal mist
drifts on a cool morning;
their stories lingering
on the air
as bonfire smoke
curls on a hazy evening;
their presence persisting
upon the land
as the teasing light
dances on a cloudy afternoon.

Are you awake?
Are you alive?
Are you alert?

For they are all surrounding
if they choose to be heard
if they desire to be felt
if they wish to be seen.

When they are ready
to reveal their mysteries,
it is for us to be ready
to receive their revelations.