ravenedgewalker: (Default)
technically that's it. Yew was the last. done, finished finito.....but there are 5 more fews added on later, and I've been enjoying myself at this and am not quite ready to finish. There are five more fews, not quite so much part of me as the first 20 that are inked into my skin - but still ;>

The bright green new-spring color of the beech leaves maybe my favorite color in the world - or at least I think so each spring. The color of peridot, semi-translucent, bright green with the sun pouring through the soft leaces against the bright blue spring sky, I catch glimpses of them through the windscreen as I drive to work in the morning, and again against the fading golden evening sunlight on the way home, I drive through a tunnel of leaves and wonder if there is anything more beautiful, more perfect. I want to drink it in, I long for the green to come each spring, and mourn just a little when the leaves darken to greet the summer.
ravenedgewalker: (Default)
6.30am and I was freezing cold, curling my fingers round the rapidly cooling paper cup half full of lukewarm hot chocolate I huddled down further into my coat and tried to resist the temptation to check the station clock again. I failed. The minute hadn't even clicked round to the next, it did as I watched. 6.31am, still 30 minutes till the train. I debated with myself whether it was better to drink the rest of the hot chocolate or continue to use it to warm my fingers.

I saw him coming along the platform, shuffling and weaving from side to side and mumbling to himself. I huddled down further into the seat, burying my nose into my scarf hoping he wouldn't notice me.

Vain hope. He stopped in front of me, and I caught the smell of sour beer from his clothes. He sat down on the bench next to me - I shuffled as far away as I could, hoping he would take the hint....or...maybe that he wouldn't notice and be offended. He held out a hand. I shook my head - it was true. I had nothing. I'd counted out my last penny to get the hot chocolate from the machine. I had my ticket and nothing else - only a couple of euro cents that somehow I'd been given by mistake and I couldn't shift them. Not that I'd tried. I was still too damn honest for that.

His hand shook a little - he was actually cleaner than I thought, but his clothes were thin - thinner than mine. I gripped the cup tighter, feeling the warmth once more and passed it to him. Trying not to look at him. I didn't want to catch his eye, didn't want to talk to him, to accept his thanks. I slid my hands up into the cuffs of my jacket, wishing I'd thought to grab gloves as I'd run out of the house last night - a whole world ago now.

6.41am and the sun was coming up. I wondered about standing up and walking up and down the platform, but decided that moving would be too cold....the smell wasn't too bad. I resisted turning round to see if he'd drunk the hot chocolate, or like me was using it as a handwarmer.

I closed my eyes, too tired after being awake all night to keep them open much longer, I figured I was too cold to actually go to sleep, and even if I managed to doze the train coming would almost certainly wake me up.

6.55am, the sun was climbing up behind the trees at the end of the platform. I felt a sunbeam touch the end of my nose and crawl across my cheek, very slightly warmer than the freezing air. I felt the bench creak, it's slats moving back into place as he got up. I heard him shuffle off and was grateful he'd gone without saying a word.

6.56, and the announcement came "The train now approaching platform 1 is the 7.00 train to......." I didn't need to listen. I didn't care where the train was going, how many times it was stopping or where. I would take this train till the end of it's tracks and then - then I didn't know, and wasn't thinking about it.

I opened my eyes, and looked down the track, the train was inching it's way towards the platform, soon, soon we would be gone.

I looked the other way, my shuffling companion had gone from the platform - I was the only one sitting there in the cold. I glanced at the bench. The cup was gone too, there one the seat was a long slender thorny twig with small white flowers clinging to its end. I picked it up, and delicately touched the point of one of the thorns with a finger - I didn't feel it's prick, just saw the small red bead of blood welling up on my skin.

I licked my finger, tasting my blood, and checked to see if there was more blood - none, nothing. I tucked the twig into my pocket, crossed the platform and climbed on the train.
ravenedgewalker: (Default)
In my dream I am standing on the tower, my hands rest on the smooth flint blocks, still warm from the summer sun - the orange-red sun that is sinking into the west, poised to plop gently into the sea just out of sight beyond the marsh.

I can see the wagons rolling out of the fields, piled high with reeds perfectly dried by the weeks of summer, I can see the men, bare-chested lying sprawled on top of the wagons, while the women, hair flying loose, skirts hitched up and tied round their waists, arms brown as cob nuts. I glance down at my own hands, pale against the black flint, and wish - even in my dream that I could be down there with them. I try to banish that thought, to continue this beautiful dream, but it's to late and the dream begins to fade with the sunlight and soon I awake once more.
ravenedgewalker: (Default)
Drink deep of my vine-red joy
sink into the dream and dance
and spin, and spin, and spin
until you are dizzy and
laughing, intoxicated,
your hair flying in long lazy circles
Feel the ecstatic joy
of the burning sun
on your naked skin
my grape-joy red and racing
through your body,
your lungs, your mouth,
your lips are full with it.
Forget it all and dance with me

(Muin, the 11th ogham has two variants, Vine is inked into my skin, and falls in this place in my set. Bramble is it's alternative)
ravenedgewalker: (Default)
Once, I would have promised you forever.
Once, so very long ago - when the stars where still bright
Before the world had shifted on its axis,
Before the mountain fell, tumbling down its side
Into the dull waters of the lake of the worlds.
Before the Blue Queen's key fell to the floor
and softly vanished into the ankle deep
dust of dreams and memories
and the white bones of wishes and dreams.
That was before, and this is after.

Before the brambles grew up
and chocked and smothered the soft sandstone walls
of my castle with its rock-doves perched
on the delicate slate-tiled towers
where we welcomed the dawn each day as a lover.
Before, when my roses were still as red,
as the single drop of blood welling from my finger,
before they became bleached by sorrow
and their petals heavy, laden with sleep
as my whole world slept and left me alone.

I slept, so you thought for a hundred years
of men, passing and turning by the walls,
the waterfalls and the lake full of tears.
I did not sleep - they slept, and I did not.
I did not sleep for a hundred years,
not when the mountain fell, nor when
the doves flew south, their feathers gray.
I did not sleep when the brambles twined themselves
through the brown of my hair. I could not sleep.

I saw it all, the dust, the cobweb-dreams,
the snow flakes falling through the roof,
fluttering through the holes where the slate slipped
and crashed to the ground - even then
I could not sleep. I was trapped unmoving,
as the brambles took over my world,
clawing themselves into the silks and velvets
lace and brocades of my castle, my only world.
And I could not sleep. The key was lost,
And I could not sleep.

And then you came, walking through the brambles
safe from the thorns in your steel coat,
through my sad lost world of tears and bones
and sleep. Did you think I slept? Did you think
you would surprise me when you pulled the brambles
From my tangled hair and pushed the strands
from my still face? What did you think as you
pressed your warm lips to my cold ones and watched
as the warmth returned to my face, and my open eyes
blinked closed, as they had not done for a hundred years.

Once I would have promised you forever,
when you pulled the helmet from your head
and your hair fell from it, the color of the sun,
streaked with the light of the moon and stars,
spilling over my hands as I held it, trying
to draw the color back into my breath.
Once, though not now, my love, for that was before
and this is after, and the key is lost in time
never to be found, even as sleep returns to me,
and the sleepers about me wake.

Once, my love, I would have spun the moon
and sun and stars from your hair.
Once, Princess, but not now - the Blue Queen's key is lost.
But even after, the doves return and the rose buds
are red once more in the slanting evening sunlight.
And we can stand, fingers laced together
my head laid soft on your shoulder and we watch
together as the sun sinks into the lake of the world
as the tears of a hundred years
fall from my eyes, one by one into the waters.
ravenedgewalker: (Default)
What offerings would you bring me?
love? my dear one, You
north-wind of winter
Gusting down from the ice
where the snowbears walk
who come sighing gently into my grove
with the song of snow still on your breath
and the barest taste of frost on your lips
even as spring begins to break
about me and my roots begin to stretch.

What offerings do you bring me
That I do not already have?
Now that the spring awakens me
stirs my twigs and sings me
to put forth leaves and tiny flowers,
to fill the air about me with my
yellow cum, that all the world
might see my lover- the spring
has arrived to coax forth
my wise green song once more.

Three times I can ask,
and three times only.
What is your price for my wisdom
North-wind of winter, dear-one,
you with the haw-frost still
in your hair, I ask
three times and never more.
and I think you have little time left to you
before you must slink back to your
lands of ice and snow and night.

What offerings do you carry
down from the north?
Across the frozen wastes
and through the fear of spring
to lay at my feet in the grove
where already my joy is dancing the
grass into green
and the sky into the blue of my dreams
Cold one, ice one come closer
whisper to my ear, tell me.

Ah! yes, that then is your
beautiful gift, your single offering
your gift of winter in the
dawn of spring
I will take it from your
trembling icicle fingers and
lock it away in the dark
for now, for a time, it is,
hidden away in the kernel of each, every seed
that is not yet called forth.
ravenedgewalker: (Default)
"This of course is the Hawthorn tree." The Guide said, addressing the large sprawling blackthorn bush, "The Hawthorn flowers at the pagan festival of May Day, when the whole tree becomes known as May, and it's covered with white flowers that smell of rotten meat"

a few of the children made a generic 'that's disgusting' face.

Somehow the 'Ogham trail' Guide had in fact failed to notice that the tree she was addressing was already in bloom, with tiny white-cream flowers - in the middle of February - which should have been another clue that she'd once again got it wrong. Her bored party of school children paid no attention, one boy repeatedly scuffed the toe of his shoe in the mud, over and over creating a mud-filled channel in the already muddy path, while a couple of small girls were giggling over a picture on the screen of a cell phone

A small fairy, perched extremely carefully among the thorns of the ignored hawthorn tree sniggered. Nobody at all noticed the fairy.

"Legend says that if one falls asleep under a hawthorn tree the sleeper will awake and find themselves in the land of fairy, perhaps it's better not to try that one today, children. We wouldn't want to have to tell your parents that you were lost in fairy, now would we?"

A couple of the more dutiful children chorused "no Miss". The rest ignored her.

"it's time to get your packed lunches out now dears, there should be some dry spots under the trees over there" She gestured in the direction of the Hawthorn tree.

The children trouped over to it, and other trees, and carefully sitting themselves on rocks, tree stumps and jackets pulled out assorted squashed sandwiches and cans of drink (a few of which had been badly shaken and exploded in fizzy fountains over their owners).

The watching fairy, joined now by a friend sniggered a little more, and reaching down snagged a dangling hair ribbon from a little girl while it's friend snagged a cell phone hanging out of a pocket, uninterested in the phone it chewed off the sparkly charms that hung from it and dropped the phone into a puddle.

School parties, they agreed were dull as ditch water - who wanted to lure nasty smelly children to Fairy anyhow, summer, they both agreed was much more fun.

Rowan, Luis

Feb. 9th, 2009 12:30 pm
ravenedgewalker: (Default)
She first came to the village when Sal's curly haired daughter was still small enough to be picked up and tucked under one arm. Sal's daughter was long past full-grown and several years widowed with a curly haired daughter of her own and a slight dark-haired boy who looked like neither her nor her dead love and who saw things in the shadows that no one else saw.

Silver-haired even then She had moved into the empty cottage, just at the edge of the village in the wildest of winter storms and there she had stayed. Soon the village became accustomed to the silent stranger, and stopped bothering her silence with questions and instead began bringing her skeins of wool to dye - they watched her in the summer, from a distance, tending her garden and dye vats and when the wind bought the smell of stale urine and wet wool to their noses were grateful that the cottage was at the very edge of the village. The children bought her baskets of berries, flowers and leaves that she exchanged for charms and trinkets made from thin woven grasses and twigs.

It was she who first noticed Sal's son watching the shadows as though they moved with a life of their own. It was she who had the most patience with the strange dark-eyed child and his odd tempers, after that first time that his mother found him in the cottage playing with a ball of wool and the kittens, happier than anyone had seen him, Sal would often leave him there while she went up to the fields to work with the rest of the village.

So it was she that the boy went to when the things in the shadows began to invade his dreams, showing him other lands and other folk with his true name on their lips - he knew she would not try to stop him, nor to encourage him to go. She sent him with one skein of red wool, of such a colour that he had never seen before (or would again) and the words,

"When the rowans ask for offerings this is what they want, but never give them it all, keep the last piece for yourself".

and she kissed him, full on the lips as he turned to leave the cottage and walk out into the night. In the moonlight she did not look old in his eyes, but very young with berry-red lips but her hair was still the silver of the moon.


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December 2010

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