Linda Studley

Can't Put the Pen Down…

Archive for the tag “ancestors”

All Saints’ Eve or Halloween, All Hallows’ Eve or Samhain

All Saints’ Eve or Halloween, All Hallows’ Eve or Samhain.
Tonight the veil is thinner and the starry night is prowlin’
with rowdy revellers, masqueraders, and jack-o-lantern jesters
who plunge their hands through the misty veil to greet their lost ancestors.

Do not fear the dead, my friend, they’ve better things to do
than haunt a house or frighten timid folk like me and you.
Fear more the ignorant living, who use the blessed night
to feed their need for power and greed by giving you a fright.

So here’s to those who’ve gone before, a toast to those who’ve left.
They never meant for you to feel abandoned or bereft.
And if the veil is thinner now and the date auspicious,
perhaps they’ll hear you toasting them and treasure your well wishes.

All Saints’ Eve or Hallowe’en, All Hallows’ Eve or Samhain.
if there was naught to fright before, there’s naught to fright you now and
do no harm to man nor beast, but let your heart be true
for the only evil you should fear is what you bring with you.

Berry Patch

I cannot trust someone who can just walk away
from an unpicked berry patch without
at least one wistful, backwards glance.
There’s always one more spot, a little farther in,
where the berries sway tauntingly
heavy and purple; wink seductively
from behind leaves and brambles.

I have a gatherer’s soul and, barring
bears and stepped on hornet’s nests,
I am genetically compelled to fill
the bag or box or ball cap.
It’s not greed that drives me,
it’s a deep rooted survival instinct.
It is physically painful to leave an eligible berry

And yet they come, these sport gatherers,
picking just enough to put in their muffins.
No thought for jelly spread lovingly on winter toast.
No plans for how to fit just one more bag of berries
in the freezer.
Laughing and chattering like magpies.
Do they feel the eyes of a thousand years of gatherers
watching them, guiding their hands,
steeling their resolve?
Do they see the primordial link?
The purity of the simple act of picking berries?

I see my hand move and know that my great
grandmother to the nth degree once moved
her hand the same way, once
hefted her heavy basket and thought of how
the spoils would feed her family.
I feel a weight of responsibility to pick,
to store, to preserve.

No, I cannot trust someone who can just walk
away from an unpicked berry patch.



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