Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thursday Poem - Crone Wandering

Crone is abroad and wandering the hills
in her woolen skirt and stout shoes,
walking stick, battered hat, cloak of oak
leaves, forest lichens and dried grasses,
her mane littered with leaf dust, feathers,
acorns and the scarlet berries of the hawthorn,
cheeks withered as a frost touched apple, eyes
round and brown as the ripest hickory nuts,
twisted lean old hands gripping the stick.
She is the ancient one, the revered one,
the silent one who stands in shadow,
seeing everything and bearing witness
to all that moves here, to all that comes,
guardian of the crossroads, bone singer,
the one before the gate, keeper of the keys,
watchful spirit of the rolling windswept hills,
ruler of twilight, thresholds and liminal realms,
fearless guardian of lost and hidden places,
Lady of the Elder Tree,
Old Wild Mother,
Queen of the Night.
She stops, listening for the crackle of coming winter,
for the icy wind that rattles the latch,
that dances in the eaves troughs,
that perches like a gargoyle on the roof,
that howls down the old stone chimney,
that rattles among the dry corn stalks,
that scours the dead leaves from the trees,
that harrows the wide and dreaming land.
She pauses to hear the geese in their long flight,
the chatter of massed swallows on power lines,
the plaintive cry of loons bound for silent waters,
the wild ducks in formation flying south,
with blessings to each for a safe flight away,
a journey without peril, a return to this northern place
in spring bearing gifts of new life, of warmth
and song above the greening earth.
A dark time to be sure, the somber woodland
without its choir of birds, the bones of the land
exposed, crowned by ragged trees and thorns,
stillness in the rocky coves and hidden clearings,
abandoned nests and empty dens, silent beaver ponds.

She lifts her head to the waning moon and sings a tale,
of stark winter days and long bitter nights,
of sharp ice forming and fields deep in snow
of north winds blowing, the touch of frost and fiery skies.

She sings too of warm barns and huddled sheep,
of lighted kitchen windows and blazing wood stoves,
of firelight and birch logs crackling in the grate.
She sings of peace at the journey's end.
She sings of resting in the arms of the Old Wild Mother.
She sings of new beginnings.
Behold I come as a dark wind out of the North,
Ancient breeze, and the chill breath of change.
Crone and sister am I, harbinger of rebirth am I!


Delphyne said...

This is simply wonderful - so evocative. It gets better with each reading.

And Spencer is quite the handsome fellow! Thanks for posting that picture of him!

Julie said...

Just beautiful and inspiring


jzr said...

Drop Dead Gorgeous Writing!! Thanks!!

donna said...

Beautiful writing, amazing photo...

One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

Beautiful. Part of the description is me. Woman of the woods, walking with her walking stick and her special dog. While reading I had the thought - I must buy this book with this writing.
Cate, you are beautiful! I will copy for my file.

Angie said...

Wow--this is simply stunning---a song of my soul that you put to words. Thank you.

Tabor said...

I agree with all your readers. This is a wonderful post. It paints a lovely picture even without the interesting photo. I too, should print this and keep it somewhere!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely gorgeous photo and the words so evocative. THANK YOU!

crowsfoxes said...

Thank you Cate. I can see the Crone in my mind's eye. She is beautiful.

Heron said...

That verse really captures the season. Thank you.

And I Iike the picture too!

Rowan said...

This is an absolutely beautiful piece of writing - I love the words and the pictures that they conjure in my mind of the kind, protective Old Wild Mother - the description of the long winter makes it sound a thing to be relished rather than feared. The photograph at the beginning is perfect for the lyrical prose that follows. I shall print and keep this Cate, I just love it.

Suzanne said...

How beautiful! I've come to read this now because I'm just catching up with you. I was entranced when I read it. Your words are so encouraging to me -- to know that nature and the Wild Mother have a witness and spirit that walks with her and treasures her.