Last light morning

Beautiful misty morning and a Samhain message from the Oracle. Don’t even mention zombies, broomsticks or ghosts with chainsaws to me, please.

halloween dawn misty

Sing life in the morning on waking,
the sleep dream lingering,
draped in dawn-dapples and the mist of imaginings.

Sing, with bird chatter
keeping the rhythm,
the chug-chug-chugging of insect and seed-search,

and at the end, when night falls,
sing the death song,
sail out the last ship onto dark seas,

swell rolling, oiled satin,
let the last sound
be one of sweet sorrow.

The dark of the year

 

This night is when I think of you,

all together, not one missed place

at table or ache in my heart.

We are what we come from, the blood

 

and the white bones beneath the earth,

the wind wailing ’cross the mountain.

We are the river running to

the ocean, the waves on the strand,

 

the quick flick of the hare’s white scut,

the blackbird’s song in the rowans.

I try to explain the hunger,

the land left behind in grieving,

 

the hope in children not yet born,

but the past is a foreign land.

I listen for your voices still,

in this owl-soft night, and I weep.

Listening to the dark

 

Listening to the flames,

outside the owl,

calling gently while the stars glitter,

this night closes around.

Darkness grows,

presses against the window,

the silence broken only by the fluttering call.

I listen to the flames, the owl,

and there are no voices of the dead,

none come to the candlelight.

If they are there, they are silent,

quieter than the flames, the owls,

and tomorrow the dark time begins.

November Yeats challenge: Day One

November is the month when those of us who write are encouraged (or goaded) to finish or start that manuscript, to take that brilliant idea and give it life. It’s a challenge I’ve accepted on previous years and have written, if not the full 50,000 words of the challenge, a goodly chunk.

This finishing off of great ideas though inevitably poses the question of what next. For writers, the answer is always, to get it published. That, dear reader, is easier to rattle off than to do, and there is nothing more depressing than having a beautiful story that nobody wants to read.

So, this year, instead of continuing my alternate history/parallel universe story—a lonely boy discovers how to get his nose out of his navel and let himself be rescued by an Iron Age girl with attitude, who also happens to be the girl in his class who is missing and feared murdered by her violent step-father—I’m going to write poetry instead.

I like my story and have enjoyed plotting it out, but I dread finishing it and having to put it on the pile with my other unsung masterpieces. There are no expectations with poetry. It’s a personal effort, written for personal reasons, and I certainly don’t feel compelled to see my  efforts in print.

For each day of this month of frenzied novel scribbling, I am going to post a quote, a handfull of words from a poem by Yeats, and let his magic inspire a poem. Limiting the prompt to just a line of poetry has been hard, as Yeats often spins a single image across half a poem, and I might have been a bit cack-handed with the cut-off point.

Anyone who cares to join me is very welcome. Just leave a link to your poem in the comments or do a pingback so I can read it. May all the saints and all the old gods inspire you 🙂

“they will ride the North when the ger-eagle flies,

With heavy whitening wings, and a heart fallen cold:” —W. B. Yeats

 

This is my first Yeats-inspired poem.

The dark half of the year

 

The dark half of the year’s upon us

Galloping with the sound of the wind

That pours from the north, cold as hunger.

The dark half of the year’s upon us

And the moon has horns of silver light

That mask the starry host from sight.

The dark half of the year comes swift

But draws on slow as a hag’s shambling

On the rocky cliff road.

In the darker part of the year I creep

Beneath the bare oak with the hare

And wait for the sharp bright sun of spring.

 

 

 

 

No fear of the dark

Today is the first of Colleen Chesebro’s November prompts. The words to use are Night and Fright—or rather their synonyms, not the words themselves. Since today is also Samhain, or Halloween if you prefer, I’ve written a seasonal haibun, and dedicated the first haiku to Colleen.

Today marks the turning of the year into the dark, the beginning of winter, hunger and cold. We build our fires high to symbolise the sun, and send the flames high into the night as a token of our faith that light and warmth will return. Tonight, the walls grow thin between this world and the other, and we listen, avidly, for the voices of those who have already gone through the door, hoping to entice them back among us for this one night of the year.

No fear of the dark

except for the trembling mouse,

waiting for fox pounce.

Do not listen to the words of the priests who took away this day from our lost loved ones and gave it to their worthy saints. Ignore the candles they light to chase the fearful shadows in their gloomy churches. Tonight is Samhain, when the dead reach out a hand to the living and say, live, love, and remember.

Owls will hunt tonight,

silent-winged, keen-eyed, with souls

gathered in their wings.

Poetry challenge #3 :the entries

Animation_candle_flame

The third challenge on the theme of Samhain attracted another beautiful crop of poems. Darkness, death and the otherworld/afterlife obviously have great appeal.
Here are your sept poems, in order of appearance.

Peter Bouchier was first (again!)
https://peterbouchier.wordpress.com/english-essays-and-poems-2/hallow/

then Jim, who I’m pleased to say has left a twitter link this time—thanks Jim 🙂

come
Samhain
fest we leave
gifts to Aos Śi
to protect
our foods
reaped

@the _release_101

Ben Naga created a whole sequence. Spectacular!

DREAD ALLUREMENT

Gone
Summer
Samhain’s come
The Dark Season
Breathes a chill
Fire
Burns

Burns
And yet
Has no warmth
I’m shivering
What’s that sound?
A door
Creaks

Creaks
Again
T’is the sidhe*
The Otherworld
Shadowy
Beckons
Me

Me
Oh my
May I dare?
Go find her there
My heart’s love
Passed on
Gone

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

*pron. shee.

https://bennaga.wordpress.com/2015/10/28/dread-allurement-a-sept/

Kat Myrman’s contribution
https://kmmyrman.wordpress.com/2015/10/28/thinning-veil-a-sept-for-the-season/

Kris the Bard. His blog link is here.

Trick
You play
Lost in time
While I await
Forlornly
My love’s
Treat

This one is from Deuxiemepeaux

Eye
Of the
Flame, find them,
Raise them, once more
To life, lust,
Thirst for
Blood

Ground
Opens,
Sky darkens
While flames flicker,
Hearts flutter,
Terror
Thrives

You can visit Damien’s blog here for more poems.

Jennifer Knoblock’s entry is here
https://gracefulpress.wordpress.com/2015/10/29/this-one-night/

Next Elusive Trope:

Mound of Hostages

wisp
of fog
shape of man
passage denied
this one night
paces
mourns

http://elusivetrope.com/2015/10/29/mound-of-hostages/

A trickortreater from rivrvlogr
when
Marvin
rings your bell
on Halloween
he’s there for
bars from
Mars

https://rivrvlogr.wordpress.com/2015/10/29/a-snickers-by-any-other-name-would-taste-as-sweet/

Ali Isaac contributed two septs, very originally titled 1. and 2. 🙂

1.
Flames
leap high.
As sun slips,
darkness hovers
with the ghosts
and lost
souls.

2.
She
rode the
sky, laughing.
Queen of the night.
But no more.
Now she
burns.

Another classic Halloween entry from vhosking for whom I can’t find a link 😦
And I now have a link! https://vhosking.wordpress.com/about/

Plain
Orange
Pumpkin carved
Geometric
Shapes create
Funny
Face

A scary duo from Janice

Deep
urgent
bass strumming
warns danger lurks,
Rain lashed strings
screaming
fright.

Pale
shadow
figure lurks,
Eerie chimes bend,
Unearthly
bell rings
Gone.

https://ontheland.wordpress.com/2015/10/30/samhain-poetry-challenge-jane-dougherty-writes/

Finally, The Secret Keeper sent this one in
http://thesecretkeeper.net/2015/10/31/poetry-challenge-3-samhain/

Thank you all for the fun and the beautiful poems. The next challenge will be posted tomorrow. See you then.

So many fluttering souls

One last poem for the ending of the year.

1280px-Storm_Clouds_in_Kabul_DVIDS288571

So many fluttering souls now,
So many hands that touch but cannot hold.
The nights are cold,
Wind blows the guttering stars,
Dead leaves roll, heavy with the rain.
No light but one shines, for all you wanderers.
Whose home will you choose,
Now the fire is dead and we dispersed?
Blow wind, but leave the candle flame,
Rising spear-straight and bright as a sun.
Drift, leaves, that mark the ending of the year,
Hark the plaintive robin’s song.
Gone, you may be, from this waking world,
Where pavements grey are stalked by pain and sorrow,
Wait awhile, hold open the enchanted door,
And I will follow.