Thursday, October 29, 2009

Autumn equinox. These are important days, astrologically, my friend Helen, who is a hearth-witch, told me when we met for our writing date: Halloween is the Celtic New Year: Samhein, Feast of the Dead, the time when Cailleach the Crone rules the earth. A full moon, too - owl moon, also called Hunter's moon or blood moon. Helen and I drank Emerald Sun tea and wrote from random fridge-magnate words and this is what happened for me:
Full moon, owl moon, Samhein moon:
Three reasons to celebrate the crone within –
No, to release the crone, to let her get on with her own
celebrations. What will she do?
She will dance, for sure. Will she dance wildly,
like the Bacchae? Will she drink deep, and laugh
too loud? Probably. Will she breathe deep and cry
for long gone loves, sigh silently those names
she once called out aloud? Why not.
This is her time of power and devastation.
Her wail is a wind to lift desert sand,
she shuffles ghosts like languid cards,
switches off the stars on a whim. She strides
regretless through forests of flux and lust,
paddles muddy water, finds surreal symmetry.
And is it easy? Yes, for a crone.
Look and learn, falterer, look and learn.

No-one knew what to expect from Poetry and Folk Retro Night at the Garden Cafe, but this random mix of guitarists and wordsmiths turned out to be a cracking evening.
My Irish/Californian friend Mo Robinson is over visiting our shared family, and as he set me up with a few gigs in San Francisco while I was staying with him in April, I thought it would be fun if the Poetry Cafe reciprocated with a 'happening'.
Mo gave us 3 spots, mingling his own powerful narrative ballads with political satire from Tom Russell, and 15 open-mic performers ensured a stonking eclectic medley of music and words. Several contributors seized the retro theme: Roger Wiltshire's witty rant inspired responses from both Lucy and Neil Howlett. Andy (Leonardo's Bicycle) Morten dropped by; Dianne Penny performed a moving personal tribute to Sharon Olds, and it was great to see how well the high-energy of music mixed with reflective poetry. Definitely a formula to repeat.

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