Friday, February 12, 2010

The Burning Times

Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

~ For Elspeth MacEwen [*]

“The flame tuik fast upon her cheik
Tuik fast upon her chin;
Tuik fast upon her faire bodye –
She burn’d like hollins green.” [**]

The old wife of Bogha
born of the yew tree
and bearer of light
was no more.

For a pin in her kipplefoot
and the sweat of mare
at Bluidy Brae.





Trust in a neighbor,

Melting away in
the fright-ignited
rage of humanity.

I re-member it, Elspeth -

The quiet center of Death
and the raucous periphery
of the Dead.

How my heart burst,
by the longing
held deep in its redness.

Just to glimpse them,
what I saw
in the possibility of them,
is all I ever wanted.

But the re-birth
has been my own,
delivered again into the
burning times.

As fire has been bestowed upon
me by Nature and by Man
I promise you thus:

I will extinguish what I must
and welcome the airs of time
to flame the embers of Love
warming in my heart.

(c)2003-2018/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Truth and Beauty" (a work in progress)

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[*]Elspeth MacEwen was one of the last women hung and burned 
at the stake in Scotland for suspected witchcraft
[**] Traditional ballad, Earl Richard

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