~ Wiccan Harvest Chant
"There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on, and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings, as now in October."
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne
"Fall, with her yeller harvest moon and the hills growin' brown and golden under a sinkin' sun." ~Roy Bean
"As soon as the harvest is in, you're a migrant worker. Afterwards just a bum. "
~ Nunnally Johnson
Tonight was our monthly Poetry club meeting.... I am always after them to do assignments.. to challenge each other to write poems from one meeting to the next.. Last month one of the men folks decided to agree with me.. he offered to come up with a word right then and there for us to write on.. I agreed.. they all said I had to choose the style of poetry and I chose acrostic.. then he gave us the word.. It was sparkle... I struggled with the word sparkle but finally did manage to string together two short acrostic poems in the 15 minutes writing time they decided on..At the end of the allotted time I lay my pen aside and turned my paper over.. It wasn't my very best work but then it wasn't the worse thing I ever wrote down either.. It would do for a rush.. Paul.. (who chose the word sparkle to begin with) had also laid his pen aside and was waiting for the others to at least pretend they were done..One of the ladies simply ripped her paper in half and declared sparkle to be a crazy word... another swore she couldn't read her own writing and would have to pass on reading hers.. another said that hers hadn't turned out to say what she meant and she would re-write it and read it another time.. Finally Paul and I both read our Sparkle.. acrostic poems.. I have got to tell you... his sparkled way more than mine...His words flowing and swaying as if he had weighed and measured each word carefully.. his sparkle as beautiful as fireworks against a night sky..... It was almost as if he had already written that poem and chosen the word sparkle just to suit it.. But regardless.. his poetry always sparkles!! All of the members of "The Sunshine Poetry Club" are very talented....
After we read of our sparkles and passions and fizzles and fireworks and all the other things that got covered in the sparkle poems.. a few of them decided that we should have an assignment.. a monthly challenge that would be decided in parts.. in other words.. I might decide on the poetry style and someone else would come up with a theme or a title or a word list..or even a word limit.. I suggested a word limit poem.. the next decider said it had to be twenty five words long.. excluding the title..and the third decider said there would be no theme.. that it could be about anything.. I was happy with that... I was already imagining a Halloween poem that could be written in just 25 words..
But.. there were some people left.. the next Lady declared a second poem and she rather liked the idea of Acrostics.. the second Lady of the second group said that word limits were going to be a problem for her and she would rather not have one so the word count was declared unlimited..and the Final tidbit was the title that the third lady told us she had been thinking of and was so glad that she was able to Choose.. She Chose Harvest Time... Harvest Time.. an acrostic.. of harvest time.. no word limit.... I couldn't believe it... I have always hated the theme of Harvest Time... when I was in sixth grade Mrs Davenport made us write an essay on the local practices of Harvest Time... Yuck.. don't get me wrong.. it's not the actual harvesting that I hate.. I enjoy that.. I love to can and preserve food.. I have a full pantry to prove that I am not too lazy to like Harvest Time.. But the words don't bend easily to rhyme or maybe they don't flow.. at least not for me.. I guess that for me... they don't sparkle!
I have struggled with the assignment for this whole month.. finally I get them all to agree to try and do a challenge each month and I am feeling very little from the theme.. Harvest Time.. Harvest Time.. Harvest Time.. I said it over and over this morning at 2 am.. I had already wrote one poem.. It flowed and ebbed and wove it's way through me.. I liked it..but it was long.. It had wrung from me everything I could muster up for Harvest Time.... But it was long.. maybe too long.. But they said no word limit.. Finally I decided to just free-write.. pretend you never even heard the term harvest time.. what does it mean.. let the pen take control.. write something even if it makes no sense.. And believe it or not.. It made some sense.. I went to the poetry club meeting tonight with head hanging.. I had the poems I had been challenged to write.. But I had struggled to get them done.. I am sharing the longest one with you tonight.. I am sure that between now and then You will get to see the others.. But for tonight I share with you my version of Harvest Time... Please enjoy!
Honey combs swell with rich gooey nectar..
~~ Rich and smooth.. spun by the daintiest of bees..
~~ just waiting to be harvested by Uncle in his funny suit
~~~ and packed into grandma's old mason jars...
Autumn is upon us.. cooler nights
~~ Daddy with the hoe over his shoulder..
~~~ Snakes crawling looking for a warm place to sleep..
~~~~ Keep that hoe handy.. Just in case...
Raking leaves into huge colorful piles.. browns..
~~yellows and grays..several different greens..
~~~Run Run Run as fast as you can....Now JUMP!
~~~ Daddy laughed and held out the rake.. Raking leaves... again
Verily.. Verily.. God said there was a time for every season
~~ A time to live.. and laugh.. a time to sing
~~~ A time to cry.. a time to Plant
~~~ a time to Pluck that which was planted..
Exhaustion at the end of every day...
~~ Drinking water from the quart jar..waiting at the end of each row..
~~~ Every one working together.. peas to be shelled
~~~ Fodder to be pulled and tied up.. Butchering ..before Thanksgiving
Seeds gathered for another season.. the summer already gone...
~~Squirrels with fat cheeks ..scurrying from tree to tree ..across power lines..
~~~ gathering the last crumbs for the winter.. store houses filled.. ours and theirs..
Take the time to be grateful for a fine harvest..
~~ know that each of us has a season.. our own season.. to shine
~~~ share joy with those who's season is now.. accept and give with a free heart..
~~~waiting and waiting.. hoping your season is next...
Tumble.. Tumble.. roll away.. time after time.. minute by minute
~~ The days get shorter and shorter and shorter
~~~ a cold wind blows now.. whipping a frosty breath around your knees
~~~~ telling you to put on your shoes...
In front of a warm fire I wiggle my toes.. turning this way and that..
~~ warming myself from all sides.. inside and outside..twisting ..twisting
~~~ nights cool enough for a fire.. campfire cookouts.. hot coffee and friends..
Money in the bank?.. a nest egg to grow.. Or is it keeping up with the Joneses
~~ what would give you cause to say it was a grand harvest? a fair hall.. or a great shake..
~~would you share ..your more than enough.. with your family.. your friends..
~~ Would you share with Your enemies?
Even now I can see my Daddy with his hoe.. chopping the weeds away..
~~~ tending the plants that would feed us.. for a year at the time..
~~ Working a full time job.. and working the fields.. raising the food..
~~~ banking the taters.. and shucking the corn.. working through Harvest time..
~~~ as another winter is Born...
Written By: Patricia Sawyer
Just before we left the meeting.. our oldest member told me that I must choose the poetry style for the first of next months poem.. I was astounded by the Huh?s that rang out when I said Haiku... ten minutes and a few explanations later they had all promised to give ..what one member described as that funny Chinese poetry.. a try... they decided that it should be on the theme of Thanksgiving.. Then they decided that we should each find a new and different style of poetry and write a poem in our new style.. and bring some information to class about that style.. they then decreed that My second poem could not be a haiku since I already knew about that... and Finally one of the young men said we should all write a third poem for next Month on the theme of Rodney.. Rodney is a young teen aged son of the president of the club.. I am told that he has attended every meeting for nearly 15 years.. I have sat near him at every meeting I have went to for the last two years... he was the first member to befriend me really.. blind to the differences between us.. I will say no more than that I am a minority there... I am pretty sure I can write a poem on Rodney.. many of the others in this club are relatives of his.. I don't know him like they do.. but I watch and listen.. I see and learn.. I am not worried about the poems for next month.. I just thank goodness that they are over the need for words about Harvest Time!! Have a great night!!