Vestal Crone

In her late sixties now,
kneeling before the Iron box
soot stained,
she opens the door,

She faces 
the remnants
of an old fire’s ashes
left by he,
who the night before,
wove the magic
of metal on metal
striking the spark
to open the flames,
but he is not present now,
on a cold afternoon
when she and the night-black cat
desire the comfort 
and warmth of the dancing flames.

So, on her knees,
she cleans the glass,
the cloth taking the soot
to itself and leaving
the way clear
to see the fire’s glory.

Rolling up lengths of newspaper,
and wringing them like wet rags,
the deeds and misdemeanors
of days past 
squashed and rumpled,
are placed carefully
on the ash-bed,
a bit of thin kindling added,
and cotton ball
teased and pulled apart
complete the preparations,
awaiting only the striking
of metal to metal.

Spark, spark,
and the kindling catches,
now she feeds 
the slightly larger 
bits of wood,
and last of all
the fire logs,
and the door is closed,
as flames dance.

Time to give thanks
for the gift of fire,
and begin the vigil
so the flames do not
glow brightly,
die – 
for this is her true job,
to maintain the fire
for the day
to take off the chill,
to gladden the heart,
to challenge the cold of winter,
until the night comes
and in time the fire
is allowed to fall away
into glowing embers
and at finally to grey ash
for the night.

the morrow, 
when fire is once more 
coaxed to life
in the iron box,
soot stained.

Epona’s Daughter

I did not get to spend
Epona’s day in quiet contemplation,
though I held the early dawn
honouring Her gifts
with my waking intentions.

In honouring Her, however,
I honour too my Spirit Horse,
a faithful companion
for many years
on many journeys
through many struggles.

She appears to me
a dappled gray mare,
with charcoal mane and tail
and a gentle disposition,
patient and brave,
inspiring confidence
and sharing her courage
as we travel through
portal door gate
into Otherworld

Are you Epona’s foal,
the gray daughter
of the white mother,
and the dark father
of deepest night?

She possesses the wisdom,
knowing and certainty
to take me between worlds,
in her company
I willingly move from
the familiar here to there
engage the mystery
seek the answers
acknowledge the powers
beyond the strictly
mortal experience.

Today I honour Epona,
and in so doing
honour she on whose
back I travel beyond
my body and safe return.

Ride Far

Ride far.
Soar high.
Dive deep.
Follow when I lead.

The time is now
of great necessity,
you must range
beyond what you know,
but which I can show you.
Thus it is needful to be prepared,
dust off the shoes of your soul,
pack the scrip of your mind,
hold the vision of your heart close.

Ride far.
Soar high.
Dive deep.
Follow when I lead.

The night is long,
the day longer
each enough and no more,
frightening the denial,
fearful the waiting,
fretful the preparation,
I come for you now this moment.
Hear my song
echo in the darkness of your restraint.
Sense my presence
beside in the shadow of your reluctance.
Know my demand
felt in the gloom of your reticence.

Ride far.
Soar high.
Dive deep.
Follow when I lead.

Unlatch the door,
open the gate,
expose the portal,
make safe the space,
engage the energy
claim the place,
for the time has come,
you are no longer
able or allowed
to hide to dither to evade,
I require that you do
what you know you must.

Ride far.
Soar high.
Dive deep.
Follow when I lead.

You will not be alone,
you know you never had been.
You are well companioned.
You can go where
I take you for I and others
will be ever by your side
surrounding and upholding you.

Ride far.
Soar high.
Dive deep.
Follow when I lead.