A Poem – The Fae Under the Willow

I wrote a poem today. Or rather, It felt like I was given a poem today, since it just seemed to come out whole in almost exactly this form. Obviously years of reading Yeats has something to do with it. My friend George’s talk on fairy tales has something to do with it, too. Any way around it, I hope you enjoy –

Three Fae held court in a weeping willow
Under its languid boughs
One had a crown of lost wedding rings
Another a garland of sweet-smelling things
The third had a simple tin whistle

Whose treasure was greater? they asked one another
Under the languid boughs
One glittered with gold, silver, and jewels
The next filled the air with fragrant pools
The last could play a sweet tune

A young girl wandered away from the path
And close to the languid boughs
Humans don’t often get the Fae’s favor
But they asked the girl which treasure gave her
The greatest delight to behold

The strange question startled the girl that day
From under the languid boughs
She knew her preference instantly
But paused before stating her mind, for she
Knew the Fae must be given respect

“I’m entranced by the perfumed air, fine folk
Under these languid boughs
And the glittering jewels delight me to see
But my favorite thing under all of this tree
Is the joy of a simple tune”

Two tempers flared for an instant, but calmed
Under the languid boughs
They thought she was far too simple to know
True beauty when faced with it, so they did go
And left the girl with the music

The Fae began to play the tin whistle
Under the languid boughs
Though the whistle was simple, it wove a song
That created a path and she followed along
To a realm she had never seen

The last time anyone saw the girl
She was under the languid boughs
Of a weeping willow not too far from the path
Though some say they still hear her sing and laugh
While a faint tin whistle plays

Rites of Passage

There has been a lot of stepping through doorways lately. I guess this happens all the time, but I’ve just been noticing it a lot in recent days.

My Dad turned 80. This is kind of a big deal with his (and my) family history. His mother died when she was in her 40’s and his father and brother died when they were in their 50’s. There are strong genetic leanings toward both heart disease and Type 2 diabetes in his family. My Dad has some serious ongoing health concerns, but he’s still playing his sax in a couple of bands and he can enjoy going to a baseball game. He lives with my sister (who is an amazing caregiver) and not in a care facility. He’s generally in good spirits. Things are not too bad for him at 80.

One of my first influences on my Pagan path died this week. Margot Adler wrote the groundbreaking book Drawing Down the Moon, which brought the current American Pagan movements to a broad audience. I came across it 25+ years ago and that book, along with a couple of Starhawk’s books, was very influential on my path. She was an NPR correspondent, who was sharp, witty and articulate. I never had the chance to meet her, but in the past few years, I was able to have access to her voice and presence through podcasts, YouTube videos, and of course NPR reports. I know a number of people who knew her personally. Her intelligence and joy in living were so evident. She will be missed by the Pagan community and by those whose lives she touched.

I stepped through a doorway, too. I was finally initiated as Brother in the Outer Order of The Brotherhood of the Phoenix. I’ve written about the Brotherhood in this blog in the past. I applied and was accepted several months ago, but they had to wait until there were a few more initiates were ready before I was officially initiated. I can’t share any details of the actual Rite of Passage, but it was a wonderful and moving experience. I am so glad to be a part of tradition that is so well thought out and that offers deepening meaning through levels of understanding. I love that this is available to me here and now, and that I get to share in some of the wisdom of those brilliant and creative men who created this tradition.

This blog is primarily about my spiritual path as a Pagan, and this is a major step for me on that path. I have never been initiated into any other tradition or joined any formal organization as a Pagan. I am still figuring out what it all means for me. I’m sure I will have more on that at a later time.