The Hitching Stone
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Hitching Stone Poems

Poems for the Old Gods

The Scarecrow
There's a bony, grinning scarecrow
      standing in a field just sown.
He's a wicker man of twiggs and sticks
      that I've dressed in dead men's clothes;
The empty socket eyes are blind
      but his twisted fingers reach,
Out towards the mocking crows
      in the skeleton elms around.
Today I've played a joke with death
      and have set him guarding life;
But he will have the last laugh yet
      when the scarecrow leaves the field
And beckons me with a ragged hand
      to lie with the seeds I've sown.
They come each year, crossing the veil of mist
that hangs across the marshes and the fields.
One night in every year; tonight they will be here.
Out of the shadows and from dreams,
moving silently they come.
Some hesitant, others bold,
this one halts and turns away
but another finds a hearth that's warm
whre people once familiar permit him to come in.
One frightened and wandering frets around a door,
once hers now strange, she cannot find a home.
Some come to be forgiven and others to forgive,
some come to say goodbye, who will not come again.
Do not fear your guests, old friends now moved away;
remember us, we shadows, ntil the next Samhain.
Escarpment and pinnacle,
Crevice and cave.
Yellow eyes that watch from the dark.
Hunted and hiding;
Hungry and howling.
Retreating to the last redoubt.
Final stand of the old race,
Snarling at the fire.
Burren Wells
Come down, below the ground;
bow your head and enter my chapel.
Dark and dripping, silent and secret,
so small that you must come alone.
Leave your offering and slip away,
do not speak of where you came.
Have you the courage to look into my face?
With trembling fingers draw aside
the veil that is my name.
I am the Old One from before,
green hair waving in the water,
spewing out life,
jealous for sacrifice.


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