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.

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2 thoughts on “The Old Ways

    • Absolutely, and it remains invisible until we begin to look and then the wisdom emerges from the shadows. To inform, to guide and to upset our modern certainties.

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