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


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.



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