New England November
Tail end of autumn
the in-between time
bare maples branches
dry leaves scuttle
A young bear pushes his nose
into heaped up leaves
poking through for acorns
coyotes howl late afternoon
once twilight falls
barred owls call right up
until bed time
The land reads browns and greys
scattered red berries
puckered purple grapes.
Winter hasn’t emerged yet,
although she’s expected.
Garden plots are groomed
in anticipation of her arrival.
Like the tide line between sand and sea
November separates the seasons
of life pushing out of seed and egg,
then returning to ground
November holds her cards close
taking her time
waits for those last geese to fly
Listen to the water ripple against the shore
and honor Manannan mac Lir
I have not gold to skillfully beat into form
I bow and put an offering into to the water
We begin our journey towards Winter
Sandy Benitez’s online journal will publish my poem Hallowed Night, likely any minute now. It’s a website worth visiting, for both the writing and the visuals. Thank you Sandy, and have a Blessed Halloween.
This is one of my favorite angels. First time I looked up the alley and my eyes rose to a tipsy angel falling out of church, I was quite surprised.She down a small street in Dublin at St. Anne’s Church, and now I like to visit.
It’s all the same holiday. As a Catholic child, we celebrated Halloween, and went to church for All Saints Day, and again the next day, for All Souls Day. The veil between the worlds is said to be thinner on Samhain, or Halloween. Have you felt it yourself, perhaps, as we’ve progressed towards the end of October? At the beginning of the month I visited my family graves to plant daffodil bulbs, and to say hello. I also visited my town cemetery, where I was moved to find the following two headstones together. However you celebrate this time, may you and yours be healthy, warm, and well
On this New Year’s Eve
I make ready for visitors,
wash the linen tablecloth,
light candles inside
set a basket of green apples
from the gnarled tree that stands
in front of the house.
Thick creamy milk from Chase Hill
jerseys is poured into mugs,
wedges of homemade bread
slathered with butter,
Hot tea, minty and black,
a measure of whiskey for dad.
This night, a gathering.
I wait with anticipation
under orange streaked sky.
It’s almost time, almost ready.
Wait for the air to stir.
Welcome the old ones
this Hallowed Eve
James Ball, (1776)
the sidhe and nature spirits,
ancestors who travel through
rivers of blood, and others
who follow the stars tonight
to join this gathering
much like a renewal of vows
End of the Garden
We glean the last tomatoes,
small jalapeño peppers, and tomatillos.
I’ve cut basil, sage, lemon balm,
calendula, thyme, parsley, mints,
Saint Johnswort, and anise hyssop.
I picked a small basket of concord grapes
to warm in a saucepan. At moonrise I was ready
for any handy tool to squeeze out the purple juice.
The potato masher was within reach
and worked just fine. By nine o’clock I began
to slice and core apples and pears from the trees
in front of the house. At 11:30 they were
simmering and steaming on the stove.
By midnight I had pear sauce with raspberries
and cardamon and applesauce with grape juice
and strawberries cooling off.
Ready to can at Wendell Town Hall Sunday morning.
We met at the town hall, the canners and
Susan and Katie, the Canning Wisdom Guides.
Community canning shares kitchen
wisdom, and creates more than jars of good food.
Katie and Judy figure out the brussel sprouts.