Monthly Archives: December 2014

EVERGREEN

DSCF0423When russet beech leaves coat the ground
And bark is bare in field and wood
An evergreen to tease the eye
As winter’s symbol should.

Sprig of holly at the door
To ward off lightning, poison, war
Druid staff, Witch’s brew
Sword forger’s friend
Dreamcatcher, too—
nine sharp leaves bound in cloth
with nine tight knots
will conjure truth,
according to the old belief.

Holly King rules his natural realm
And never far from his side
From summer’s height to winter’s chill
Fidelity, his ivy bride.

Sprig of ivy up the wall
Keeps home safe from beast and squall
Lover’s bind, Good luck plea
A poet’s crown
Fertility—
bridal wreath intertwined
carried by a blushing maid
will ensure a fruitful match,
according to the old belief.

Pagan totem, Christian sign
No matter what it cares to mean
The holly and the ivy’s gift—
The ever present, Evergreen.

Whatever holiday you celebrate, may you find moments of peace and joy.
Best wishes, Melissa
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LITTLE BLACK DOG

little black dog 1

I keep it on a tight leash
It’s inclined to be a pain
Gnawing on invisible fleas
Half the time
Turning in circles on itself
Looking, but not finding
That sweet spot on the rug
If I could kick it I would
Yell at it to “Heel!”
And do my bidding
But one minute it’s chasing fallen leaves
The other, barking at ghosts
Doesn’t it know
That all I want for it
Is to bound with joy
Forget itself
Run off down the road
And discover new horizons.

 

When I was in a bad mood, as a young child, my grandmother would make a joke out of the little black dog sitting on my shoulder. Drawing attention to the nasty creature that had taken over my personality was a sure way to banish it back to the dog house.

IRELAND AT THE OPENING AND CLOSING OF DAY

DSCF9888At this time of year in Ireland there’s a scant eight hours of daylight. The sun rolls lazily over the horizon at 8.30 am, and is already slipping away by 4.30 pm, leaving sixteen hours of darkness.

DSCF9917Of course the reverse is true in the summer with close to seventeen hours of daylight. On Midsummer’s night on June 21st, you can still be leaping the St. John’s Day bonfire in twilight at 11pm. But you’ll need to be up by 4am to milk the cows at dawn.

DSCF9900This is not surprising, given it’s latitude, (roughly 53˚North) which it shares with southern Alaska, Canada’s Hudson bay, and Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula. The Gulf Stream’s North Atlantic Drift, however, sweeps warm water up from the Gulf of Mexico, giving Ireland a much more temperate climate, thankfully.DSCF9881

No matter how grey and wet the day, at dusk, a little magic happens.DSCF9688

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