Thursday, 30 October 2014

Three poems for Calan Gaeaf...





Northern Star (for my father)


                                                   Your journey is not mine to choose,

                                                         manipulate, to change or bend

                                                   Life’s spiral path must have its way

                                                         Its aim unclear until the end


 You drifted deep inside your mind

A second and the veil reached out

I stand upon the distant shore

My call a futile, wordless shout


                        I call to you my joy, my father,

                             as priestess, to the Blessed Isle

                        As daughter, call you ever homeward

                             to stay with me for just a while


My soul shrinks to a grain of sand

To see your hard-fought words unborn

And yet your smile, my northern star,

Would bring the honey to the dawn


                             I call to you my joy, my father,

                                  as priestess, to the Blessed Isle

                             As daughter, call you ever homeward

                                  to stay with me for just a while


Words lost in too many words

The meanings far from tongue or ear

But I will listen in my dreams

   and in my heart your words I’ll hear


For you have walked the bitter edge where

     fear and love entwine in wild embrace

And you have kissed Her blood red mouth

     and gazed upon Her stone deep face


                             I call to you my joy, my father,

                                  as priestess, to the Blessed Isle

                             As daughter, call you ever homeward

                                  to stay with me for just a while


A deep-root oak, your spirit stands

Around we spin in praying dance

To pull you back from dark confusion

To sing you home from endless trance


Will you surface from Her cauldron

   lost and caged or changed and healed?

Will life’s choices branch before you

Or has Her kiss your future sealed?


                             I call to you my joy, my father,

                                  as priestess, to the Blessed Isle

                             As daughter, call you ever homeward

                                  to stay with me for just a while


But heron comes to show the way

   through misty marshes of the mind

The edge of love, the edge of fear

The connection we were born to find


And when Crone Mother finally calls you

    to rest and change in dreaming womb

I will rejoice that you are with Her

But always feel you left too soon


                             I call to you my joy, my father

                                  as priestess, to the Blessed Isle

                             As daughter call you ever homeward

                                  to stay with me for just a while


               

                                                   
                                                  Your journey is not mine to choose,

                                                         manipulate, to change or bend

                                                   But it is my joy to walk with you,

                                                         my father-child, your daughter-friend


 (2004)


Grief Like Horses (for dad)


Cold autumn pavements carry mourning,
  
   your whispered voice drifts on the breeze,

but I can’t catch the words you send me,
  
   like dying leaves lost to the trees.


I stand like stone on this cold pavement,
    
   paralysed by all I feel,

but Dark Rhiannon surges past me;

   Her dark-eyed challenge tinged with steel.


For I have been scarred by your passing,
   
   your story carved into my skin.

Such beauty in the depths of leaving.

   Such fear to let these feelings in.


I dread these waves that tower above me,
    
   am threatened by the undertow,

but know that I cannot outrun them
   
   and in their tides my healing sow.


This grief like horses drags me onward,
  
   when I would rest and dream you whole.

For I would die to journey with you,
  
   but grief’s wild currents claim my soul.


And, if I dare, I will ride with them;
  
   allow this pain to wash me wild.

Or I could stay on this cold pavement;
  
  deny the woman, stay the child.


So you will journey with your dying
  
  and I will journey with my grief.

But we will touch on this cold pavement;

   love whispered in an autumn leaf.


(2008)


I am my father 

Walking his Woman spirit

Soul to soul entwined

(2013)



All poems ©Jacqueline Woodward-Smith


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