Circles and Cycles…

The wheel turns… summer has been all too short but already, trees are changing colour, elderberry, hawthorn and blackberries are ripening in the hedgerows…

She changes her gown

as the year grows old
from russet to amber

…green to gold
She’s the lady of the harvest

for all living things
in the hedgerows and forests

a rich bounty She brings
He changes His cloak

as She changes Her gown
they dance at Lammas’ hay wain

‘til in sacrifice He’s cut down
yet they dance on and on

as the falling leaves twirl
through the mossy glades, twilight

to the pipes sobbing skirl
that breaks through the silence

of a darkening year
then on toward Mabon

the crisp air becomes clear
On they dance toward Samhain

the ancestors awake
and the Wild Hunt comes riding

the years’ fallen to take
through the veil brightly gleaming

long hair darkly streaming
and the hound’s wild belling

cause the forests to shake
on and on yet they dance

to Yule’s last long dark day
the light becomes stronger

yet Jack Frost’s still at play
but on they dance toward Imbolc

as the first lambs are born 
ever onward to bright Ostara

the sun’s rays become warm
then when May blossoms open

their honey perfumes the air
step abroad as the sun rises

to make a wreath for your hair
for here at the rite of Beltane

their dance flames with bright joy
and folk may later harvest

…a girl or a boy
On to Litha they dance

sweet berries flavour the wine
the sun’s power reaches zenith

and will slowly decline
On the breeze, you’ll hear Her singing
in the thunder His rumbling mirth
when they call us we’ll dance with them
In circle spinning

…Death to Rebirth

Circle Dance… is featured in my Silver Threads series, available from

I do love this time of year when things are so busy on the farm with harvesting and preserving, drying, freezing, etc., but it seems as if summer forgot us, all but for a few days of warm, balmy air.

Although it’s been some years since Lady, as I named the rescue Spotted Harrier, who flew into an open, (not ususally but I was cleaning), glass door… and yet here she is! She recovered well and was released back into the wild from here but as said, after a few years she stopped visiting and I assumed her gone but she returned for a short visit the other day… she looks me straight in the eyes and I feel the affinity I felt when I picked her up, semi conscious on the day of her injury. Look at the intelligence and the directness of her gaze… I’m completely in love, all over again, with this beautiful wild spirit.

Other wild spirits, roam aplenty… this beauty is a loner for some reason but doesn’t appear injured, so perhaps simply ageing. The old, infirm, the rogues and the misfits, seem to find us up here… and being somewhat a loner myself, I relate to the need for the hermitage… in fact I’m tempted to change the name of the farm to just that.

Meanwhile, within the changes in nature and as we move towards the darker half of the year, things are moving along with renovations to our old barn-house (we actually now have a laundry!) and to the wee studio pod that will be my studio very soon…

Lughnasadh is past and a beautiful new moon hung suspended… the grain and hay harvest are in and daily, fresh berries are brought to the table…

In my current wee space in the corner of the dining room, work is afoot for a forthcoming exhibition in early April… commissioned work is flowing in and I’m beginning to feel more grounded and centred after being extraordinarily unwell. Autumn’s early arrival is the source of this creative burst… things come to fruition, the pantry and freezer fill with both wild and cultivated foods… soon hazelnuts and apples, wild blackberries and our own raspberries and strawberries will be made into preserves or syrups, even frozen for wee treats like fruit tarts or mousse, for dessert and smoothies for breakfast.

I’ll get around to posting some recipes here soon, and not only food, rather ink and dye processes and herbals, too. I’m still in the organisational stage of returning to blog writing; with so much else going on, it had to take a back seat… but at least, here I am back in the writing saddle!

Life moves on again as the wheel turns… my latest book, Poetry for Wild Spirits, is “out there”, my non-fiction offering, Wild Spirits is in draft form and two novels in a new series are growing daily… they continue my Silver’s Threads series but will be complete in themselves, simply tying in with some of the characters. Look out for the first in the new series Cloak of Magick around mid year, Song to a Green Moon.

Sing to the green-moon

with joyful intent

Gather pellucid moon drops

…to replenish flowers spent

Revive a failing tree with herbs that heal

Wear Her Cloak of Magicks

all truths to reveal

All ways of Magick

are hid ‘neath Her cloak

Gather waning, green-moon drops

add water and soak

…the dying and the wounded

under Mother Elm’s green boughs

But we warn you

stay clear of woodlands

 …with metal tools and plough

Art, as said, is taking on the warm tones of autumn for a new exhibition… Autumn Illuminations a new mixed media series on cotton canvas, using my own inks and dyes, eco-cloth and paper and lovely textured substances layered in between. I’ll post dates for this ehibit soon, should you be in the locale. I’d love to see you there…

Until the next time… walk softly…

Penny at Beyond the Gate Studio

All text, poetry and images are copyright, Penny Reilly, all rights reserved.

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