So today’s poetry practice is weather influenced. I had to postpone one of the haiku walks with a local primary school because heavy rain and potentially high winds. Which is risky when you are walking in a wooded glen. So health and safety prevails. On the other hand, I am glad of the weather because I had a rotten night’s sleep, often classified as ‘fitful.’ Which I always think is descriptive of the sleep that happens in fits and starts, with disruptions, where you wake more fatigued than you were the night before. I wasn’t really feeling the poetry practice, but I pulled out the notebook and found my fountain pen and made a start. And if it is fitful at best, then so be it. We may try to do our best, but we are not always our brightest and shiniest. And I did not obey Rumi’s injunction to not go back to sleep when I roused up at 6am. I did go back to sleep and missed the dawn for the first time in what may be weeks. Which must be some kind of personal record given my previous form as night owl and disdain for morning lark-dom.
The storm that is disrupting my best laid plans is called Diana. So I decided to lay a poem at Her feet this morning.
Diana the Huntress is tracking us.
We are in front of the wind. She scents us.
With her Bowie knife she pares us right down,
quartering, coring, hollowing us out
beyond sinew and fat, only bone left.
Just scaffolding for the pretty stories
we tell ourselves to send us off asleep.
Awake is hard. Like sentry duty it’s
arduous, especially when fatigued.
But when you are on the move stay out front.
Smell what is coming at you. Eyeball back
to see what’s behind you. Follow the moon.
The Wild Hunt is out tonight, the Archer
bright in night sky. She has her quiver full
of arrows, her cross bow held taut, feet apart.
Poised, this virgin complete unto herself,
shakes us awake. Be ready. In moonlight.
At day’s break. In hours of carrion’s cry.
Copyright © Bee Smith