If you were paying attention then you may have noticed that I missed posting a new poem last Tuesday. What with the blistering heat finally abating there was enough energy to actually do some garden harvesting and outdoor work without melting. Lúnasa is the Celtic festival that begins on 31st July. We have had a bank holiday weekend just as we do at Samhain. Lúnasa is the Irish name for the month of August. What with one thing and another my week looked a bit like this…
I recited some Lúnasa poems on my friend John Wilmott’s Nature Folklore Sunday Sessions this past Sunday. You can find him every Sunday on YouTube or Facebook Live. You can ferret through the archive by connecting on his Facebook Page Carrowcrorry Cottage and Labyrinth Gardens. If you peruse his channel you will learn a great deal about the Irish folklore surrounding Bilberry Sunday and Lúnasa and Crom Cruich.
I cannot do the live with him next Sunday so I made a wee video of one of the poems I am posting for you today. He will be looking at the old god Crom Cruich or Crom Dubh next Sunday. This god of the underworld was much celebrated in this region where I live, Cuilcagh Lakelands Geopark. (YES! Marble Arch Caves UNESCO Global Geopark has a new name to more accurately reflect it’s crossborder identity!) The Blacklion-Belcoo region about eight miles from where I live was a great centre for worship of Crom Cruich. The text for one of the poems is below. A video reading this poem and another is uploaded on YouTube. I recorded it in my garden this past Sunday.
Bilberry Sunday Hurry to cut the hay! Foot the turf! The blazing sun plays beat the clock waltz time to tractor engine tune. The Council officials scythe the long grass around graves in the old cemetery dressing them up to be blessed once again. Sunday is meant to be for rest. In this most strenuous season long days of sweat bear first harvest. Even so, we take the time to climb up holy heights or circle the holy well repeating ancient patterns, saying prayers. Bilberry’s tight fruit, slightly sour, are offered up on walks taken in high summer’s brief leisure hours. Bog myrtle too sprouts from peat rich high ground, exposed to sun and scorched dry by recent heat, splintering like bog oak exhumed, risen. up from damp ancient underworld, Auld Crom Cruich’s proper domain, along with Belcoo’s freezing spring. The pilgrims visit, praying the pattern, An elegy, requiem for dying Summer and all being gathered. But just now we are too busy. We must save the seed and preserve fruits of harvest we don’t consume. We are too busy to mourn what’s cut down. It’s enough to know the year is waning. That seed saved is hope of new beginnings.
Since I missed last week, I will add a wee haiku as a bonus.
Lazy orbiting Thistle's downy seed head drifts Summer's surrender