Saturday, October 30, 2010

Requiem


And We Danced. Morristown, NJ

ON All Hallows Eve the veil between the living and the dead is said to be the thinnest.  Ancient Celts believed that on Samhain the border between this world and the next was at its thinnest and that spirits could pass from one to the other. I have along been fascinated by the stories and rituals that happen on All  Hallows Eve, as well as cemeteries. Growing up, I used to routinely pass through a cemetery to visit a friend, making the trip several times a week.  The cemetry was the one place in childhood where it was quiet all of the time. That sense of solitude is one I still seek and I wonder if those early years did not shape that need and if making photographs doesn't answer that need.


Longing. Tuscany, Italy

All Hallows

by Louise Glück 

Even now this landscape is assembling.
The hills darken. The oxen
sleep in their blue yoke,
the fields having been
picked clean, the sheaves
bound evenly and piled at the roadside
among cinquefoil, as the toothed moon rises:

This is the barrenness
of harvest or pestilence.
And the wife leaning out the window
with her hand extended, as in payment,
and the seeds
distinct, gold, calling
Come here
Come here, little one

And the soul creeps out of the tree.


Gates. Tuscany, Italy.

Samhain


by Annie Finch


(The Celtic Halloween)

In the season leaves should love,
since it gives them leave to move
through the wind, towards the ground
they were watching while they hung,
legend says there is a seam
stitching darkness like a name.

Now when dying grasses veil
earth from the sky in one last pale
wave, as autumn dies to bring
winter back, and then the spring,
we who die ourselves can peel
back another kind of veil

that hangs among us like thick smoke.
Tonight at last I feel it shake.      
I feel the nights stretching away
Crosses. Tuscany, Italy.
thousands long behind the days
till they reach the darkness where
all of me is ancestor.

I move my hand and feel a touch
move with me, and when I brush
my own mind across another,
I am with my mother's mother.
Sure as footsteps in my waiting
self, I find her, and she brings

arms that carry answers for me,
intimate, a waiting bounty.
"Carry me." She leaves this trail
through a shudder of the veil,
and leaves, like amber where she stays,
a gift for her perpetual gaze.

 



Mourning. Morristown, NJ

2 comments:

  1. Delightful and yet spooky...poems wonderful and photos, as always, pulling me in.

    ReplyDelete