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Writings and Photography by George Dula, Dooley MacBride &  Hemlock Evergreen
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Autumn Fire

Ah, the warmth of the fire feels good
After the chill of the day and the eve;
A platter set before me of warm food,
As this night I intend the day to leave.

Suddenly I hear a door shut and soft footfalls,
Quietly noisome along the flagstones outside;
As I rise from my board to open the doorslide,
Then realize that duty suddenly calls quickly.

For its M’Lady who’s stealthily arisen
To quickly make her way to the hillside above
As I hear the wooden gate creaking
My scabbard is snatched from its peg

She is under my charge, and I have more reason
For seeing that she remains safe, for me…
I exit my doorway and make for the gate still swinging
And see her form on the hillside ahead.

There’s a fire on the hill for there’s been celebration this day
The days and the nights they are equal;
The harvests they are full under way,
As honored by our village’s people

She’s alone but ahead rising swiftly
Toward the stone-encircled hill just above
Our small village where seasons are honored
By fires and offerings, and much more yet to come.

Druid’s daughter will not be denied this evening
Even though she’s under my protection;
She heads alone for the smoldering fire,
Glowing orange on the stones up ahead.

I struggle to fasten my scabbard as I rush headlong up the path
Cursing as my bare toes catch both the rocks and the thistles
In my rush to catch up to her and ensure that she’s safe
As she enters the rocky circle up ahead…

The hill levels off as the standing stones are approached
The starry sky putting off little light, though it is a magnificent sight;
I pause to gaze at the stars overhead and wonder at the beauty I see;
Then a sudden glow of fire ahead, as she enters the circle of stones…

She looks at the fire and wills it to flame, or did she add something to its embers?
The fire leaps suddenly skyward sending sparks to join with the stars;
A calm cool autumn night with the orange cinders and flame overhead
As I look to her, her back before me, with her hair aglow from the fire beyond.

I walk past the stones and approach from behind her
“M’Lady,” I say as I stand very near,
With the fire spreading warmth very dear
And I must wonder, did she hear…

Then she raises her hands to her throat
As she continues to look to the flames
And unclasps the hooks which are holding her cloak
And it falls to the ground in a heap…

Oh my, by the Gods, all which is holy
She stands there before me with the curves of her body
Shown most clearly before me this side of the fire ahead
And I stand there just gazing, not knowing what to do, or to say…

She reaches down to a basket heretofore unseen
And takes out some grain and an apple and some mead
Which she offers to the awaiting flames which rise up in thanks
For her offering of bountiful harvest, for the Gods have indeed been very kind.

She quietly says words of power and of wisdom
Not quite heard by me standing so near yet so far
When my scabbard falls noisily to the ground aside me
And she acknowledges my presence with a nod.

I walk quietly right up behind her,
My princess, my charge, my love,
And place my arms softly around her,
Which she takes with her own and so entwines.

She turns to look at me as the fire dances in her eyes
Then she tells me that the offering’s not yet over,
That we’re to make the final one together;
As I take her into my arms and hold her tight…

Her back is to me as my arms hold her gently
And she again turns her head to mine;
Our lips find each others and gently we kiss
As the flames and the stones glow ever brightly.

 

We touch and caress as the fire burns bright
Illuminating the standing stones all around us
On this dark sky starry night
As thoughts of harvests and the winter ahead fill my mind.

Her cloak is spread out upon the grassy ground
And no more words are said for a while
As the Earth and the crops they are honored
With the flames dancing high to the sky…

Its dawn’s early brightness which awakens me
Alone on the hill by the fire ring
Which still smolders warmly beside me
As I repair myself and make way back down to the village…

Druid’s daughter, she greets me as I walk past her door,
As we share a secretive smile;
I say to her that the crops will do very well
And she smiles broadly and says “Aye, that they will…”

 

Written in 2005 byHemlock Evergreen

 

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