For those days of Autumn mists that now beckon

Today, I thought I’d give you a poem – one filled with woe for Wednesday – Autumn mists have begun telling us that Winter is coming. Sorry it’s not more cheery, but I hope you enjoy it anyway


Raven hair pales to grey and she hurries her feet

though her tread falls silent on slow blueing hills

that curve in layers under widening skies

with rises and falls as soft as breaths

each wreathed in exhaled mist

Firm pale skin begins to sink into wrinkled folds

as down to a violet wooded vale she speeds

but limbs twist and stiffen with hastened years

stumbling, wild eyed, she runs and dread

nips hard at her bare heels.

The rising sun will soon drink deep of watered veils

and floods of lemon light will swamp the land

hurrying the aging of her flesh. A howl claws for release

she traps the beast behind clenched teeth

not yet to be released.

Heart stuttering she enters woods where Summer’s

leaves play games with bright and dark, but on and on

through fog chained trees and knotted roots

she limps where thorns and tangled briars

scratch withered arms and legs.

By the mossy bank of a shadowed river

she hobbles and peers up with rheumy eyes

then kneels and back her aching neck arches and

from her widened mouth she wails a name

of one to meet with death.

Rustling, the ancient willow weeps long leaf tears

into rushing wild waters that shatter on the rocks

as Cyhyraeth keens a name and bends to wash

to scrub dark stains from cloth with hands

too gnarled to feel or care.

Hard it is to keen the coming death of heroes

to warn a family of grave’s cold breath

the doom lies in the marrow of her bones

cold grief to freeze the blood, to age

her cursed and ravaged soul.

[ Cyhyraeth (kay-Hayraith): hag of the mists, Welsh form of the banshee]


All the best

R B Watkinson



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