Aschenputtle 1967

Aschenputtel by Eleanor Abbot
Aschenputtle by Eleanor Abbot (1875 – 1935)

Walking through the field
on your way home from school.
The path leads through naked brush
along the farthest edge
of suburban wasteland.
The spring sunlight pours upon you.
Baby buds are crowning
bright and magnificent, each bud
quickened and specific in it,
and you can’t see it,
you can’t hold any of it.

Your new cat’s eye glasses
could bring it all into sharp relief
but you aren’t wearing them.
You can walk no faster than this
you think, walking forward.
The schoolyard shrieks and jeers
still ring in your ears
like sharp barbs and arrows
that prick and pin the tittered laughter
of the other girls on you.

Emergence drifts away from you,
the budding shrubs and yellow wintered grasses
along the edge of path shrivel and blur.
Nothing can enter that hazy bubble
you have made, that empty sphere
of shadowed space to hide within,
grieving because it is so dim.

Then there’s the girl, in the tattered dress,
kneeling in the ashes.
She has no mother, its true.
Her father deserted her,
her step mother despised her
and her step sisters turned from her.

Only a girl like this
can know what’s happened to you.
If she were here she would
reach out and place your glasses
back on your face
and tell you of how she planted a twig
that grew to become a hazel tree.
And though you might see nothing,
you would be seen all the same.

 

With gratitude to Margaret Atwood for her poem The Girl Without Hands.

Old Nettle Woman

We are this land amara hollow bones
Image: We are this land by amara hollow bones

Old Nettle Woman finds me.
She comes to me in my deepest sleep.
She fills me with chlorophyll dreaming.
She whispers strength that flows from her fibrous roots,
and smiles the truth in the sting of her tiny needles.

Old Nettle Woman leads me to the creek side.
Her skirts rustle softly as she walks,
a delicate breeze in dark green leaves.
She settles on the bank beside me.
Her slender hands pull her prickly shawl closer,
and she gazes green on flowing water.

I bend my head to hear her soft voice,
and she spins a story of her lover the sun who courted her in the spring
by kissing and warming her tender maiden leaves.
She hums of crystal incandescent green and how she became so full of love for the sun,
that his light filled her and she unfurled her leaves,
And stretched her stems to reach for him in the deep blue summer sky.

Old Nettle Woman sits up straight while she sings of growing taller.
And then she smiles wickedly,
and weaves a tale of summer days when she pulled the sun so close to her
that the heat of their passion
burnt the tips of her leaves and left her panting in the dry dusty heat,
until the autumn rains came
and tiny droplets were succulent on her thirsty foliage.

I feel her scratchy seed clusters brush against my cheek,
and I strain to listen  more closely.
The heat of their passion is singing in the dusty mist of pollen as it is released.
Her tiny black baby seeds dance around her in the breeze.
Some settle around their mama and others fly across the creek
to live and grow in parts unknown.

All her children are beloved equally.

And I realize that she and I are the same.
The sun loves us and
our children fly in the breeze.

Old Nettle Woman bows her head.
She is of the water and the soil and the air,
and though her roots have begun to pull her back,
it is her passion for the sun that will most sustain her
when the winter snows begin to fall
and she sinks and settles into the earth below.

If you like this poem, listen to Bones and Feathers, a beautiful song by Emily Portman

 

Invocation (for Karen on her 50th Birthday)

Karen
By air and sky and deep blue mountain lake,
By sturdiness of soil and heat of passion’s flame.
By rough bark and strong trunk,
Deep roots and ever-widening branches.
By the wind and by the rain.

Shrug off your heavy cloak my darling,
Shake off the weight of your days.
Drop off your burden, slip out of your fear,
Release your inhibitions and go deep and deeper
Until naked, you step into this magical sphere.

Open yourself to our Mother.
Open to her pain and to her bliss.
Lean into the edge of her love and longing.
And fall forward into the deepest darkness of her kiss.

Drop down into the blackness
Slowly float into the depths of her devotion.
Experience the ecstasy of her grief and her glory
And let it take you to the magnificent river that will pull you
Into the truth of your belonging.

Now you are a wave rider,
Now you are the wave,
Now you are the force of love that will heal all wounds.

You must believe first,
And then remember this message:
You are deeply loved.
Your love is desired and valued.
Nothing will ever separate you from the sacred body of the earth,
Nothing will stop you from knowing her immensity.

With love from Amber

 

 

Image source: Unknown (with gratitude and apologies to the artist.)

A cry for Gwyl Awst: The harvest time has come

Demeter by InertiaK

Children of the Star Goddess
We are the ones we have been waiting for.
The heated days of August are upon us
and though much of the earth is dry and parched,
It is time to reap the seeds that we have sown.

I call on you my sacred sisters and my magical brothers;
It is time to stand tall in the ripe and rippling wheat fields
and gaze into the infinite blue sky above.
It is time to absorb the warm caress of sun on your skin
and gather strength from the solid earth beneath your feet.

And when you gasp at the breeze’s kiss
and thrill to the currents of air that flow through your waving hair,
It is time to harness the passion in your heart
and call upon the spirits of your allies.

I call on you to go deep within and heal your spirit.
I beg you to open your heart.
Face north and harness the earth’s mighty power;
Face east and capture the wail of the raging winds;
Face south and seize the heat of the core and the passion of the sun.
Face west and catch the deep dark depths of the ocean’s waters.
Face center and manifest the magic and infinite spark of spirit.

And when you have gathered the elements to you
Stand strong with us all in the center of the Axis Mundi–the tree of life.
Together we will channel the power from our mother earth below.
Together we will swirl our spirals of energy to harness the vitality of the Stars above.
And we will sing in harmony as that divine magic surges up and through us
and showers down and upon us.

Sharpen your scythes
and ride your wagons into the fields my darling ones.

The harvest time has come.

Image credit: Demeter, source unknown.

 

 

 

Winter Solstice Song for my Sisters of the Drum

winter-woods

Let my drum guide you
with soft steady beat
As you move through the darkness
Into the deep.

Flow to its rhythm,
Dance to its song.
Its tempo will guide you
Its sound will stay strong.

Come with me
Flow with me
Run with me
Know.

Step with your purpose.
Step with your faith.
Step into the forest.
Open the gate.

Breathe deeply my sister
As light gently fades
Leave your sadness behind you
Step into the glade.

Come with me
Flow with me
Run with me
Know.

The oak and fir branches
Will shelter your heart
The forest bed beckons
To share in its spark.

The earth opens slowly
You drift with the flow
The roots take you further
To deep earth below.

Come with me
Flow with me
Run with me
Know.

Set free your last worries
And let them all go.
Release and drop deeper
To darkness below.

Fear not my sweet sister
My drum beat is strong
Its sound will stay constant
And carry you on.

Come with me
Flow with me
Run with me
Know.

Your spirit spark travels
It enters the flow
You hear Gaia calling,
With words that you know.

Drift sure with my drum song,
Fall ever so slow
To the heart of the heart,
Let it love, let it go.

Come with me
Flow with me
Run with me
Know.

Dear mother will heal you
And soothe your deep strain
Her light burns in the darkness
She carries the flame.

And when you are ready
We’ll carry you home
Hear my drum softly calling
Know you’re never alone.

Come with me
Flow with me
Run with me
Know.

Let her love heal you
Let your heart sing
Let her open light’s door
Let the Solstice Bells ring.

Photo credit: WinterWoods XII by RealityDream

Mabon dialectic

leaf-and-stag

As we turn from the light

to acknowledge the dark

We can snuff out the flame

and then reset the spark.

 

As black is to white

As death is to life

Our gaze shifts from the day

to the dark of the night.

 

We gaze out we gaze in

We take time to begin

To find truth in the spaces

That lie deep within.

 

A beautiful song about a Fall by Amanda Cottreau

Image source Kobi Refaeli: https://500px.com/kobire

The waters within me

How do I let you flow?

The watery tears of my sorrow, my heartbreak, my grief?

Shall I reject you as I have been rejected?

Or shall I bottle you up and contain you?

 

I need tissues, I need toilet paper, I need napkins, I need pads.

I need something to block the flow of this sorrow from me. . . plug it up. . . stop it.

What about meds?  Where are the meds I need to stop this grief?

Is there an app? Invent me something that will stem the flow!

Please stop this flow of water from me.

 

Let me hold it in.

Block it, stop it.

Let it fill me until I explode and my waters run out of me,

down my face,

onto my clothing,

onto my keyboard,

off the desk,

soaking the upholstery of my chair,

creating a dark stain on the carpet that just flows and grows until my waters rise above me and short out my technology and leave me floating.

Like a dry brittle leaf.