Dancing at Lughnasadh #poetry #earthweal

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
in isolation
I reached out
found inspiration

always with the end in sight
always out of darkness, towards light
even when all hope seemed lost
continuing

now, at Lughnasadh (my rebirth month)
I’m dancing:
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.

© 2021 Experimentsinfiction.com. All Rights Reserved.

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:

29 thoughts on “Dancing at Lughnasadh #poetry #earthweal

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  1. “I can only raise my voice in song

    and harvest the bittersweet fruit
    this labour brings
    an almost ghost-choir
    which defiantly sings.”

    I adored these lines, the imagery is stunning. We may not be able to do much, but we can still protest in different ways such as with poetry. <3 I really liked the "ghost-choir" line since it sometimes feel like an echo in an empty room–people may not listen or hear it, but the impact remains the same. Beautifully written with raw and devastating imagery. The hope at the end using song as protest was amazing.

    Never stop singing or dancing indeed.

  2. We will march on and on // a poignant and philosophical poem.. and this stanza rings true for me Ingrid ..
    “can’t even make
    a sticking plaster
    in the face of imminent disaster
    I can only raise my voice in song”

  3. A lovely poem of gestation and harvest, perfect for the challenge. The singing is all, for sure, even in an emptying room. It’s a modern grief that our culture(s) have lost so much of the majesty of ancient festivals enacting the primal relation between human and earth. Now we just Party like It’s 1999 going on Ragnarok. Alone.

  4. Wonderful imagery in your words, and the progression is perfect. Love the culmination in the singing “almost ghost-choir.” And, yes, let’s raise our voices.🌷

  5. This is such a beautiful poem, Ingrid.
    “in darkness, in my pain
    fed it with love and
    watered with the light of my belief
    hard labour brought forth”
    Such gorgeous lines❤
    I loved the ending and congratulations on the book!

  6. I LOVE “I can only raise my voice in song” and the ghost-choir defiantly singing. Spot on!

  7. I loved this birth and rebirth poem Ingrid and these lines:
    “always with the end in sight
    always out of darkness, towards light
    even when all hope seemed lost
    continuing”.

    it reminds me of all of your efforts with your book and you voice in song so pure even with 2 left feet.
    xio 👏👏👏

    1. Thank you Cindy! I worked on it a lot during PMDD hell so those lines reflect that. It’s important to remember the light is always there, we just don’t always see it ❤️

      1. oh that makes complete sense Ingrid and I understand. Not easy but you do always end up finding the light. It’s hard to see it in the dark hour. xo💖💖

    1. What a beautiful comment, thank you so much! I’ve had a busy day traveling so will be catching up reading and commenting as soon as I can…

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