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.

Womanliness,

Earthiness,

W-holiness,

Mothering,

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,
outsized
by the longing
held deep in its redness.

Just to glimpse them,
Seeing
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)2003-2011/Jamie K. Reaser

------
[*]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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