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The Cottage Nov-Dec./Yule 2001
From The Cottage

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I am pleased to anounce that we have a new feature this month. From the Cottage is a new page dedicated to reader submitted poetry and literary essays. This page is hosted by the newest edition to The Crones Cottage group,MoonSongstress. We are very happy to welcome her to the family.

The Witchs Cat

You walk the high-wire so easily,
Passing through the doorway of
Dreams with none of the efforts
And long trained inner searching
Of human need. So softly pushing
Aside the veil between the worlds.

Prowling through the mirror into
The jungle of my mind you come.
Visions shining in globes of glowing
Crystal candlelight, eyes burning
Through the darkness and cutting
A course for the questing of souls.

Sometimes I will find you glossily
Slinking past dark green dripping
Leaf, sun-eyed shadow of the night
Or draped carelessly over smoothly
Knotted branches of timeless trees
Sleeping, dreamlessly sleeping.

And back in my kitchen you sleep
As soundly. Curled in a ball of black
Fur and prettily polished paws with
Their steel sharp claws hidden from
The unwary. One ear watching and
Ever open to opportunity or pleasure.

Still you sit and staring, absorbing
Everything with a hunters proud
Precision, waiting for the minutest
Unmeasured movement and coiled
Like a wound spring of perfectly
Machined muscle, you stay poised.

Here and there and as ever your
Pure beauty astounds me. Here you
Live a fascinating companion full of
Cruel playfulness, there I know your
Minds self image, the mightiness
And power that plays within you.

A partner in adventure, fit for the
One I am through the dark mirror
Of dreams. A huge black tigress for
The fearlessly inquisitive, questing,
Explorer of worlds whom I become.
Where do you want us to go today?



Copyright 2001 MoonSongstress,
Moral Rights Asserted.
This work may be reproduced if copyright information is included.

Solstice c2000 BCE

The nights coldness lies all around us as we
Torch our burning way across the severe plain,
Softened now by the recent falls of snow which
I knew would come. Magic calls out to the cold.
Robes swishing over the crispy whiteness, the
Green beneath crunches on the supple leather
Wrapping my icy feet as my lamp flame burns
Steadily in its cocooning cover, its spirit bright
As the hundred others calling clearly around us.

A long journey for a long night, and we come
With light to greet the light. The greatest lights
Travels turn back towards us on this night and
We come to welcome him in newing greatness.
I know of old that he will come but still it is right
To wait on his arrival with reverence and the
Great joy that sings of returning plenty. He will
reawaken the dead earth as a lover to his love
calls with caresses for the merging of spirits.

I have seen them from afar in my mind, but the
Fathomless silver-tipped darkness has shrouded
The stones till this moment. But now I do see
Them with my outer eyes as well as my inner.
They rise up quickly, rearing like dragons and
Looming over us in the power of the connection
Of earth and sky. Like trees they rise and with
The agelessness of time. Their warmth glows
Around them asking to be touched and inhaled.

The great fire is already lit. It pierces the dark
Places with licking, hot tongues and dances up
To touch the skys twinkling jewels. Lustful heat
Reaches out from its questing fingers, and the
Cool, iciness of the night slaps back shamelessly.
We enter from the North, approaching as softly
As the sun will, with the stones towering above
Watchfully and circling round the spirit-full fire
To our right and the suns doorway to our left.

I can feel him coming in the breath of the icy,
Hot air as we circle the fire, arms outstretching.
The tiny lamps burn still, their journey almost
Done as we circle, circle, lifting the little lights
To the greater one. Faster, faster as the orange
And charcoal world spins around us. The time is
Here, the time is here as he raises his massive
Head above the horizon, dwarfing the great fire
As the tiny lamps scream into its hungry flames.

The orange tide engulfs us, washing waves of
Warmth through the skin, muscle, sinew, blood
Bone, and through again, living and dying in an
Everlasting instant, coursing through arteries
And crashing through the mind till all is nothing
And suddenly it is still. We lie quietly and dream
Of peace. The greatest light of all continues on
His way as he shines down on the unruly scene
Of black ash and spent bodies. And he smiles.


Copyright 2001 MoonSongstress,
Moral Rights Asserted.
This work may be reproduced if copyright information is included.

The Rose

The musky rose opens up her singing throat as
Swelling petals burst from their modest resting
And stand thickly proud beckoning for all to see
As the sweet sharp scent coming from her heart
Wafts softly on the warm wind of her ripening.

She lies crimson velvet down, her ardent voice
Calling the salt gathering dewdrops from afar.
Resting in her simmering warmth she knows
Lifes worth and awaits a suitor who will bring
Forth radiant shining joy for gifts of her beauty.

Survival has come hard, for her sisters were
Severed and plucked from their beds to stand
Forlorn and barren in tidy groups with their feet
Buried in the tomb of cleaned, stagnant water
Which sustains a while and then rots with them.

But joyful life flies all around her as the fruitful
Perfume of her being reaches out to the wings
Of the careering lovers, spiralling a whirl-wind
Course to the love-of-life place where she lies
With her essence distilled, waiting to be drunk.

And still they come, buzzing with their inquisitive
Antennae, probing gentle electricity into her core
And feeling the yield of silky liquid sweetness.
For outer beauty calls from vivacious to vibrant
But inner, hidden beauty lies deep in the heart.


Copyright 2001 MoonSongstress,
Moral Rights Asserted.
This work may be reproduced if copyright information is included

The World Tree

Swathed around the shoulders with
Centuries old, cobweb strewn vines
Of creepy, crawly ivy, and ever flexing
Your knotty round muscles outwards
Against eternity, you live within the
Throughness of all levels of reality.

Your upper world sparkles with the
Never-ending magic of all the forces
That cycle round the slowly turning
Ferris wheel of time, and flickers with
The lightening glow of neon-bright
Flashings of the electricity of living.

Sensitively fingering each light with
Branches ever sweeping upwards to
Brush the stardust from the heavenly
Bodies of shiny, sylphic ones, your
Stretching limbs reach to the edges
Of the upper, iridescent highest place

And lapis blue and turquoise leaves
Softly strew the top of the world with
Diamond dashings of jewelled dew.
Your canopy hums gently with all the
Sweet, singing music of the spheres
And time turns like a silver stream.

You trunk stands still and constantly
Changes while the huge aeons roll on
And on, and the rushing sparks of
Self-contained life live and die, each
Cycle of packaged action lasting only
A leafs depth in the time you know.

The velvety green mossing mantle
Spreads slowly over the hard skin of
Your trunk, creeping carefully as it
Protects the fragile creatures of the
Place they call earth, and moisture
Mistings feed their little, vital beings.

Lower down and lower still the darkly
Glowing seas breath salty minerals
Over your crags as their tides ebb
And flow to rhythm wrapping round
Your bulk, and lead clinging creation
In the green and shimmering dance.


Roots snuffling through the brown,
Dark richness of the burnt sugary,
Leaf-molten, layered upon layered,
Underneath place, smelling of thick
Caramel, hot chocolate earthiness
And churning the life giving dead,

Your long stretching reaches down
To the lowest places of quiet resting,
And questing earthworms ring around
Arms of farrowing roots as death is
Turned slowly back into sustenance
Of the new, young lifes adventuring.

Now at the very bottom, when you
Think your stretched roots can reach
No further and the limit of your great
Strength is reached, something stirs
In the darkness. The quivering blue,
Green leaf at the height of the worlds.

And your lowest root stretches to its
Utmost as the leaf at the top of all of
Creation stretches back, pushing up
Towards the bottom as the two ends
Realise they are both the same. For
The world tree embraces all space.


Copyright 2001 MoonSongstress,
Moral Rights Asserted.
This work may be reproduced if copyright information is included.

Evergreen

The soft time of the greening has gone
For most of the old, wildwood, but still
You stand clothed in the darkened glory
Of your green, pricking, scented fingers.

I see you through the bony branches of
The newer, naked, bent ones, with your
Steady, proud erectness of stance and
Straight-backed lack of any compromise.

Shoulderlessly you stand tall while the
Elements of nature whirl round our two
Heads. One bows to acknowledge her
Weakness, the other knows his strength.

And I wonder at the slowly unbreaking
Endurance resting in your slender, high
Stem of singular centre, thrusting into
The breathing air of scorching, ice chill.

The cold wind bites and knaws through
Our blood, bone, wood and sap but the
Warmth of your winter and summer coat
Protects us both as I enter your space.

The wind does not reach beneath your
Crinolined skirts, and I am not the first
Traveller to crave shelter in the safety
Of the shadowed sharp warmth beneath.

Hollowed under your rooftop rounds a
Circling bed of fur and prickle. Winter
Journeyers have sought you many times
And now one more curls under your care.


Copyright 2001 MoonSongstress,
Moral Rights Asserted.
This work may be reproduced if copyright information is included.

Hidden Nature

Peeping round the corners of tree trunks
And quick scampering along the tops of
Logs fallen by hissing saw and nailed
Into fence posts of brothers and sisters,
Hidden nature watches carefully and
Spits swiftly at us in bright-eyed disdain.

Im here, Im here, but your slowness
Will not see me! - you cry with your
Sharp red teeth and well-tuned claws.
Dark eyes gleaming in the natural neon
Of safe quiet moonlight, when the decent
Careless killers for joy lie low in rank dens.

And still proud branches grow long for
The love of life, and the sinewing roots
Lift tarmacked, flattened to death ground
Which will not live again, with the unending
Easy determination that holds roofs and sails
The seas and keeps the stranger from us.

Constantly shoring up against you, we
Revel in our invincibility as the gently
Dripping raindrops pull down our shelters
One by one and turn them into themselves.
Blinks in the eyes of time, we do well
To watch them and know we are all one.


Copyright 2001 MoonSongstress,
Moral Rights Asserted.
This work may be reproduced if copyright information is included.

Dream Music

Sweetly oozing through the heavy,
Perfumed air into my drowsily hot,
Softly vibrating ears; and thickly
Pouring into far corners of the dark
Vessel of the room, the notes come.
Notes in their thousands. They fall
As liquid drops of rainbows and the
Velvet sky of the moons fullness
Swept together into a wild dance
Of divinely humanitied swirling.

They rush in their torrents and play
Like slow circles in the resonant
Pool of dreams, waiting unhurriedly
To ring like a bell resounding on
The breath of the gentlest breezes.
I can feel their soft, calling voices
From the waters edge where I
Lie in the duality of here and there.
Here is the snug darkness of reality,
Candlelit and cushioned in its safety.

There is the cool shimmering water
And high, tumbling jewelled notes
Calling me to dance as one of them.
To fall through the timelessness
Of the mindscape and be engulfed.
My spirit leaps for joy and lightly
Swoops into the wheeling air, fluting
And weaving, chasing and snapping
At the glow-worm notes with hungry
Jaws and thrilled, darting iridescence.

My wings rush effortlessly through
The sonorous air as the shiny, dark
Cooling waters echo their longing
Below me and my whooping dive
Quickens pace with the sound.
The water is calling my name as
I cavort round towards it, Be green
With me in the stillness. it says.
And suddenly the calling is too much
For my quickening flash of spirit.

I fall through the air, wind rushing
In my ears and the rainbow playing
Round my head. Faster and faster
Like a smooth pebble skimming
Downwards towards the darkness.
And suddenly, everything is slow.
The cooling depth covers me with its
Endless, moving stillness. The jewels
Are muted here. Emeralds and deep
Sapphires whisper quietly to me.

I lie still in their surrounding calm
And sleep motionlessly in the wafting
Scent of timelessness and repose.
For ever and a day is the length of
My slumber in that silent singing.
Ice ages pass quickly as my spirit
Sleeps soundly and then softly stirs.
The warmth of reality calls me back
Into the world of the living and my
Spirit rises to greet it, arms wide.

The here place resonates with the
Comforts of natural, ordinary things,
Of normal physical-ness and care.
The candlelight flickers to the fire
And it crackles dependably in reply.
Warmth and wavering darkness
Fill the incense laden air as I know
Who I am in this place of solidity.
I rest in the darkness and remember
The jewelling rainbows once more.


Copyright 2001 MoonSongstress,
Moral Rights Asserted.
This work may be reproduced if copyright information is included.

Pan, I call you. I call to you now
With my gay laughter and song.
You, the horned one who makes
The honey dripped music of love
And dances with us the tender,
Wild, passionate dance of life.
I call to you now, as you greenly
Answer, softly breathing down
The sweet calling pipes of freedom,
Waiting to dance the merry circle
Round with the Green Lady as she
Whispers the music of the spheres.

Come now. I hear you coming
In the wind as it caresses my brow
And weaves flowers in my hair.
And I feel you fleeting as shining
Raindrops singing in the air and
Creating the oldest wonder anew.
Where do you come from and
Where do you go? I ask, as you
Stare still with the eyes of the owl
And the mouse. I am the male
Goddess, the feeling, creative
One who lives and dies. you say.

Live within me then, I say as you
Take my hand and whirl me softly
Round like fallen leaves through
The crisp, golden days of pleasure.
Give me your joy and your sadness
In full measure and I will live,
And I will die, over and over the
Same but ever new. Creating and
Living and loving and laughing
And crying once, for all and for
Ever. For I am green with you and
The dance of life is ours this time.


Copyright 2001 MoonSongstress,
Moral Rights Asserted.
This work may be reproduced if copyright information is included.

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