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The fire of autumn,
Raging against lapis skies,
Drains to brown under ashen mist
-- And dies.

The trees slough their reptile skins,
Leaving only tatters and bits.
Clinging; twisting in desperate throes
-- Then fly.

Only the bones remain,
Stripped bare to rub and crack.
Consecrated offerings for Samhain,
Scoured by gray winds.

Quiet now but for the rustle
Of dead skin and broken bone.
Frost and Decay worry and wrestle,
Devour the remains and spit the seeds.

The pines stand in vigil silence
Aside their sleeping brothers,
Brandishing green standards of defiance;
Sentinels in forlorn fields of bone.



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Comments

The following comments are for "File na Marbh (Feast of the Dead)"
by Philo

Keogh Plann Fragh
Celtic stuff? Tolkien?

This is very Britannic. Like an intro to Byronic poem where he or his caped misanthropic hero walks the beach of a roiling sea

( Posted by: Teflon [Member] On: November 12, 2004 )

Feast of the Dead
Its a Celtic celebration of feasting and bonfires on Samhain Eve, the title is Irish Gaelic. Its a precursor to modern Hallowe'en celebrations for the end of the growing season and the beginning of winter. When our forebears thumbed their nose at death.

I have read Tolkien quite a bit and I think you may be right. He's crept into this one a bit.

I'm thinking of doing a suite: Samhain (winter), Imbolc (spring), Beltane (summer), and Lughnasadh (autumn.)

Love that research! Thanks Teflon. -Philo

ps: your suggestion that this could be the intro to a much larger poem. Don't get me started! -PO

( Posted by: Philo [Member] On: November 12, 2004 )

Feast of the Dead
You have a masterful grasp of language; you paint vividly and avoid cliche with your original phrasing. That being said, I thought the poem was a little uneven. You seemed to set up a kind of format in the first two stanzas that you discarded in the last three. I don't think poetry necessarily has to have a pattern, but I think you should be consistent to your pattern or lack of throughout a single piece.

I think it would be great if you did one for each of the major festivals...I'd enjoy reading them very much!

( Posted by: pharseer [Member] On: November 15, 2004 )

Yep, yep, yep
You didn't disappoint with this one either Philo. The penultimate stanza nearly did me in with sheer pleasure. Just the best read. thanks - huni.

( Posted by: huni [Member] On: December 12, 2004 )

Wind Phar Huni
Windchime, Thanks for reading. Sorry I took so long to respond. Your comment inspired me to include Frost and Decay in the second poem in this suite. Focus on the Landscape is exactly where I'm going. I'm trying to examine the events in nature that inspired man to celebrate and invent stories/mythologys to help explain.

As I think more about Frost and Decay, I think you may be right about a poem of their own. Someday.

Pharseer, Thanks for your insights. I have given up a stronger or more regular form in exchange for content in this case. Because the subject is transitional, the poem has two parts. As part of a suite of four, each with the same form, I'm hoping to reinforce this loose rhythm.

Huni, 'penultimate stanza' eh? I've re-read and tried to guess, but maybe it isn't that important for me to know which stanza you liked the best, only that you liked it. What a wonderful thing to say! My humble thanks. -Philo

( Posted by: Philo [Member] On: December 12, 2004 )

Philo- second last stanza
Did I use the word wrong? I thought penultimate meant second last. Maybe not. Anyway that is the one I love so much. and you are welcome. ~smile~ huni

( Posted by: Huni [Member] On: December 13, 2004 )

Huni penultimate
Wrong word? I have no idea, I've never seen it before. I'll take your word for it. I'm going to go look it up though, seems like it may come in handy.

Another thing I love about coming here is all the new things I learn. Cheers and thanks again. -Philo

( Posted by: Philo [Member] On: December 14, 2004 )

feast
Samhain Eve? Awww...my wife knows a thing or two about those pagan ways! Great write dude! In reading over a lot of your stuff I gotta tell ya that you are one impressive writer with a lot of technical skill!

( Posted by: DieBaronHobskewward [Member] On: December 28, 2004 )

caught unawares
To someone like me who do not have any referrence point for a ritual as this --- I find it surreal. And quite eeriely captivating. I actually read the fourth part first, having late again in discovering it.

I see you write in serials too. It's great when the meaning expands beyond the first 'page' or beyond the page itself. That makes it more poetic.

( Posted by: webguy [Member] On: February 15, 2005 )

Part 4 of 4 - webguy
webguy, you'll spoil me with your attention. I am grateful for your helpful an insightful comments.

I used the Celtic Pagan words for the changes in the seasons as a framework, but as far as the rituals themselves, I think they're accessible to all of us in that they grow from the natural world around us.

A serial of four makes sense for this subject and I originally considered writing them all and posting them in one piece but I like them separate. -Philo

( Posted by: Philo [Member] On: February 15, 2005 )

Fascinating
I just read the entirety of this suite, and I'm in love with the language. Very illustrative.. The others were extremely sensous, nearly sexual in their nature. This, though, is a different direction and a fantastic conclusion.

( Posted by: shefallssoftly [Member] On: February 18, 2005 )

Suite of Feasts
DieBaron, sorry I missed responding earlier. Thanks for the kinds words, i'm glad you enjoyed.

SheFallsSoftly, I'm glad you came by and that you liked this group. I'm delighted you picked up on the sensual/sexual nature of the middle pieces. The four poems follow the seasons and the life cycle of the year. This one represents the death and the hope of renewal next year.

This is the first one I wrote and I like it best. -Philo

( Posted by: philo [Member] On: February 18, 2005 )





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