To Walk Through Autumn

follow a path through the

debris of Summer’s sun-

kissed indulgences, treading

scattered seeds into fertile

earth as you head towards

the clarity promised by

Winter’s chill, and the fresh

shoots of wild possibility

that wait to unfurl beyond

Wisdom of the Crone

for mine

will be the wisdom

of the Crone

*

she who walks the

hedge lines and liminal

spaces with back bowed

and bare feet rooted

*

custodian of the

secrets of the earth she

is at one with crooked trees

and lurking spirits

*

gathering winter’s

fears in forage she brews

ancestral knowledge

into potent form

*

yes mine

will be the wisdom

of the Crone

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I wrote this poem earlier this year, when my back was particularly painful and it was looking unlikely to improve any time soon. I’m only just heading into middle age but suddenly I felt old. Instead of railing impotently against a largely unchangeable situation or letting myself sink into an apathetic depression, I set my mind to making the most of it and accepting the physical limitations that an ageing body inevitably brings. I didn’t let it stop me. I continued out on my walks, even when I could barely hobble along at a snail’s pace, and, fortunately, things did start to get better. I’m still slow and hobbley, but I’m far better now than I was, and, hopefully, things will continue to improve.

One walk I did very rarely when I was at my worst was out along the Viking Way, a footpath that passes through my village. On one memorable occasion, when I’d thought myself to be having a good day, what should have been little more than a half hour walk ended up taking me several very painful hours when a nasty spasm hit me when I was up on the path. After that I tried to only walk in places also accessible by car in case I needed to call for a lift.

Earlier this week I made my way there again, and the pictures that I’ve paired with the poem were taken then. Talk of the Crone really has to be paired with wintry shots. It was the morning of the coldest day of the year so far and it began with a beautiful frost. I didn’t go too far along (just in case) but it was far enough to snap some pictures.

 

 

Washed Clean

bathe in autumnal rains until

old worries and fears and

concerns tumble free in swirls

of green and gold and russet

tones baring branches to wild

skies whilst roots delve deep

in search of secret truths

Yesterday, I spent some time with an autumn leaf.

 

Yes, it’s the leaf that Hex brought me.

CB&W: The Kitten and the Leaf

Mr Geoffrey Cat likes to bring me dead mice and birds. My kitten, Hex, brings me leaves. I definitely prefer the leaves.

This post is for Cee’s Black and White Challenge.

This week’s theme is anything beginning with the letters K or L. It’s been a while since I last joined in with a challenge like this, but I had the perfect set of pictures for these two letters. I give you, the kitten and the leaf.

Here are a few more recent pictures of Hex amongst the leaves – and amongst the gravestones in the churchyard behind my house.

Hex is the newest member of our family. He’s now nearly 23 weeks old and has lived with us since late August. For some reason I’ve not yet posted a single picture of him here on my blog. Bizarre. Hopefully this post will make up for that!

Here are a few more pictures of him looking cute.

And here are a few other pictures that show him as the cheeky demon-cat he is the rest of the time.

And on that note, I’ll leave you with a final picture that, while blurry, demonstrates just how well (as in, not at all) he and Geoff are getting on…

Embracing Autumn

cloaked in society’s expectations

individuality lies suffocated beneath

conformity’s desire to belong

but Autumn clad in Spring’s garb

plays an unsuited role as bright

colours fade and connections dissolve

until expectations lie discarded

in a carpet of tumbled leaves

and naked truths are bared to a

frost of thoughtless jeers that melt

away into morning mist in the

dawning light of self-acceptance

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Sometimes I half write things into WordPress drafts that then get abandoned, incomplete and forgotten. This poem was one of these. I was having a wander through my drafts folder earlier and not only did the wording of the second half of it finally come together, I also realised I had the perfect set of pictures to accompany it. Anyway, here we are now, several years after I wrote the first half of it, and finally ready to share. I hope you like it.

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October Meadow

frost retreats in wreathing mists

as autumnal rays cascade

over twisting paths,

telling Winter

‘it is not yet your time:

sunlight still holds sway,’

but soon…

soon those darker days will arrive

bringing long nights of

crystalline clarity

when dreams marinate,

encased in Earth’s protective womb,

awaiting the burgeoning warmth

of Spring,

but for now…

now is the time of descent,

when the seeds of

future endeavours lie corpse-like,

coccooned in spidersilk

amongst tangled mycellium,

and the voices of the

ancestors whisper secrets

for those who are willing to listen

An October morning in the meadow – a time of frost, mist and spiderwebs. It was, quite simply, beautiful.

 

Toadstool Hunting

in amongst the leaf litter
all over the woodland floor
are lots of little pixie homes
all waiting with open doors

Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland

Colette O'Neill... Environmentalist, Author, Publisher, Photographer. Creator of Goddess Permaculture.

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