With Samhain In Mind: A Winter Haiku
With Samhain (and different pronunciations of that word abound, but I quite like the pronunciation ‘soh-uhn’) just a few weeks away, the Circle turns ever closer as the final harvest of the year is about to be brought in and celebrated, and the season of winter creeps closer, at the end of this month. In Wales, this first day of winter is also known as Calan Gaeaf.
With that winter season in mind, here’s a (series of) haiku, and each can be read in succession – either as poetry, prayer or as part of a liturgy to celebrate the harvest and season of winter, Samhain.
I am fascinated by the traditional haiku. It’s a wonderful poetic style and I’d encourage you to write a poem or two in that style. An awesome discipline, and great fun. Haiku are Japanese-style short poems consisting of three lines: and the lines should contain firstly five syllables, then next line contains seven syllables, and the last line contains five; and somewhere in the haiku there is a seasonal reference, however oblique.
So, a winter haiku, a resource for you to use and adapt as you think of the last harvest of the year, winter, Samhain.
The northern winds blow.
Ice and snow slowly creep south.
Life sleeps in the earth.
Harvesting takes place.
And, grateful hearts raise a song
to the Source of All.
Winter tilts the Earth.
The sun reclines; and winds roar.
White frost cocoons all.
Revelry takes place,
and nature’s bounty is shared
with mankind and beast.
Naked are the trees.
Sparse, the green shrubs and bushes.
Harsh, the cold on skin.
Hail, winter Spirit.
That which dies now at your hand
will soon come alive.
The Circle moves on.
And the promises of old
are heard loud and clear.
‘As long as earth lasts,
seedtime and harvest, summer,
winter, never cease.”
The Deity smiles,
and blesses all; but for now,
the northern winds blow.
Over the next two weeks or so, other aspects of Samhain will feature here; ritual, thoughts, maybe even a song or two. Many blessings, Tadhg.