Mother Autumn

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for Anna

and for Rosemary, Joan, and Janette

*

I see my Mother, now the swans have flown

As summer falling sweetly from the vine

In fading shades of blossom turned to wine

In seas of corn from seeds of springtime grown

I sense her in the scents of roses blown

In twilight glades as day and night entwine

At sunrise, in the mist of morning’s shine

On drops of blood of berries on the stone

I see my Mother, standing on the hill

Beneath Orion as he turns the year

I see her grieve for me all winter till

The new born leaves and flowers reappear

As I will, Mother, as I always will

Return to where I came from, Mother dear

*

© Gail Foster 22nd September 2017

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Come Rise

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Written for the Gorsedd of the Bards; Avebury, England, Spring 2017

*

Can you feel her in the blood

The turning tides, the shifting of the skies

Or hear her on the wind, or in the cries

Of gulls that wheel above the drying mud

Come rise…

Can you sense her in the urge

Of flames that lick the furze and lambs that leap

Of sap that rushes sudden from the deep

In swirls of sacred water in the surge

Come rise…

Can you feel her in the stone

The ancient fire, the spark of energy

The force that flows through river, rock, and tree

The movement of the marrow in the bone

Come rise…

Can you taste her on the lips

The heady scents of grass and honey wine

Of sun warmed earth and rain on celandine

Upon the tongue, upon the fingertips

Come rise…

Can you feel her in the beat

Of wing on air, of drum, of run of deer

Or see her colours on the hill appear

All blazing bright, alive with pulsing heat

Come rise…

What are you, man, but water through her hand

The winter’s ashes and the summer’s dust

A flick of life and then a flare of lust

Then back into the earth on which you stand

Come rise…

Be still, and feel her raw and naked power

Come forth as lightening, set the trees alight

Set hares to run and horses to take flight

Through alder grove and furrowed field in flower

Come rise…

*

© Gail Foster 18th March 2017

Here, Again; The Autumn Equinox

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This poem was written for the Avebury Gorsedd; 24th September 2016

for everyone who was there, and for those who were not…

*

I’m here, again…

Come riding in, upon the western wave

My hair all wove with golden leaves, my breast

As pale as moonlight on a hidden grave

And all the sins of summer long confessed

I come, again…

In sweeping skirts, with white swan feathers strewn

To brush the summer dust from weary grass

Make ash of aspen, damp the flame of noon

Before the frost freeze water into glass

I bring, to you…

Windfallen apples, berries from the hedge

Long shadows on the barrows, and the chalk

Wild winds to stir the willows and the sedge

And mist, and myth, down every path you walk

I’m here, again…

The promise of the harvest to fulfil

The energy of autumn, streaming through

The swirling springs that spiral round the hill

To drench the land in red and russet hue

I come, again…

Between the longest day and shortest night

To fill the blood and marrow of your bones

With all the orange glory of the light

Before the dark descend upon the stones

I bring, to you…

A cornucopia of ripened fruit

Dark juices of the vine in bottles bright

To nourish soul and body, to transmute

Your thought to dream, your dream to second sight

For I am She…

Am Autumn writ, in every field and tree

Am mistress of the Owl and running Hare

So yield unto my kiss, and blesséd be

And dance with me, oh Druid, if you dare…

 *

@ Gail Foster 23rd September 2016

 

Let Me In

 

Knock, knock, who’s there, and art thou friend or foe?

Why knockest thou at this ungodly hour?

I am the Light, whose face and word you know

I bring you sheaves of blossom trees in flower

So many moons have passed since we last met

How shall I know that it is really you?

I am the Light no darkness can forget

I bring you skies of bright and endless blue

Why comest thou, now I am nearly old

With fainting faith and blood flow slow and dry?

I am the Light, returning as foretold

I bring you Life, to raise you true and high

How glad am I, to see you at my door

Come, cast your crazy sunbeams on my floor

 

by Gail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Billy No Mates Magpie; My Tree

 

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*

Outside my kitchen window stands a single hopeful tree

Such beauty in the ghetto is a saving grace for me

In the spring at night it’s silver buds shine like tiny stars

Twinkling by the bin store and the white vans and the cars

In summer green it’s vibrant leaves shade cat shit covered grass

And flicker subtle shadows on my kitchen window glass

In the autumn there are berries, for tiny birds to eat

Glowing brighter than the sunset, falling red on grimy street

So many contemplative pigeons seeking sanctuary I’ve seen

So many blue tits, sparrows, robins, adding colours to the green

Squirrels, blackbirds, starlings; quarrels, lovemaking and chat

The cuckoo of a carrier bag, the stranded curious cat

One day they will chop it down and all that will be left

Will be the tarmac and the garages, and I shall be bereft

In the meantime, it is winter; naked branches cold and bare

And a single lonely magpie, every morning, sitting there

Usually with magpies, if you wait a little time

Another bird will come, to bring you joy, as in the rhyme

I watch the skies with hopeful eyes from early dawn till late

Can he be the only magpie in the world without a mate

The magpie sits alone and waits, he’ll be alone tomorrow

Billy No Mates Magpie

And his sorrow

*

by Gail

Darkness Becoming Visible; November

St. Mary's

*

For the congregations of St. John’s and St. Mary’s, Devizes

*

Within a pumpkin’s hollow is a candle burning bright

We have prayed the dead to silence, we have sent them to the light

Bring in dark November, let the winter cold begin

Stick the heating on and let the Saints come marching in

There will be icy dawns and fireworks, dank leaves and naked trees

We shall wish for Christmas jumpers to protect against the freeze

Is it colder now than last year?  Oh, where did the year go

By the time we’ve got a grip we will be sliding in the snow

We will remember that November gives birth to the Advent season

And that once the knives were out for Fawkes for gunpowder and treason

We shall wish for bonfires high enough to chase the night away

As we watch the winter shadows fill the corners of the day

We have been tricked, we have been cheated; now it’s all downhill from here

Until we come to rest, at Christmas, when a new light will appear

*

by Gail