In February (my birth month)
I sowed a seed
into the coming spring
watched it grow
in darkness, in my pain
fed it with love and
watered with the light of my belief
hard labour brought forth
the rising loaf
I reached out
always with the end in sight
always out of darkness, towards light
even when all hope seemed lost
now, at Lughnasadh (my rebirth month)
I can’t fix
this troubled earth
can’t even make
a sticking plaster
in the face of imminent disaster
I can only raise my voice in song
and harvest the bittersweet fruit
this labour brings
an almost ghost-choir
which defiantly sings.
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Written for earthweal
This week, Sarah hosts at earthweal with a Lammas challenge. As Sarah explains:
The ancient Celtic name is Lughnasadh – the festival of Lugh, the sun god. The word “Lammas” is Saxon, meaning “Loaf-mass”, which is an indication of what this festival is all about: harvesting the corn.
The challenge given is this:
For this Lammas/Lughnasadh prompt I’d like you to think about harvest at all levels. The actual harvest of grain, the production of food and seed for next year; but also how our wishes, dreams, plans have ripened. The things that have given us a sense of achievement, the things that turn out to be rungs on a ladder to something new. The experiences we have transformed through our own personal water, yeast and time. Of course, we are not the only creatures who gather harvest – squirrels create food stashes, bears prepare for winter. Corn, barley, wild grass – they all sacrifice themselves to plant the seeds of the next generation.
For me, there was only one real option to write about: my newly-published poetry anthology, The Anthropocene Hymnal. I took the title from the Brian Friel play Dancing at Lughnasa, which was adapted into a movie starring Merril Streep. I remember wishing I could dance when I watched it. As I have two left feet, I continue to dance the only way I know how: with words. I hope my fellow Hymnal contributors will forgive me referring to us collectively as an ‘almost ghost-choir:’ in a world of endless distraction, it could be that this is what we are. Or I could be referring to the entire human race. Nevertheless, we should never stop singing and dancing: