Another full moon, blue only in imagination.
Cross quarter day, All Hallows Eve, maybe
ancient Celtic harvest festivals, Gaelic Samhain,
pagans celebrating before a day for saints.
Children in costumes. Everyone in masks. 2020.
All Hallows’ Eve from Samhain. Darkness coming.
Harvest’s end. Animals slaughtered for the winter.
Spirits of the dead transgress death’s border.
Pray to the saints. Bake soul cakes.
Lanterns and bonfires to keep ghosts away.
With its odd flower and ugly fruit
appearing at chilly Halloween, as a boy
I thought a witch named Hazel bewitched
the plant. Wych Hazel, bent twigs as divining rods,
the essence bottled in our medicine cabinet.
As Wych Elm (from “wiche” meaning bendable) twigs were used in England as divining rods, the New World hazel plant took the name and by that folk etymology may have influenced the “witch” part of the now common witch hazel name.
This ending and beginning in a triduum:
All Hallows’ Eve, All Saints’ Day, then
All Souls’ Day. Time when the veil
thins between our world and afterlife – this
time of the season to remember the dead.