The first look at Fireflies at Absolute Zero—a forthcoming poetry collection by Erynn Rowan Laurie, author of Ogam: Weaving Word Wisdom and A Circle of Stones [Megalithica Books]. Erynn’s collection will be Hiraeth Press’ final release of 2012, look for it October 31st, just in time for Samhain!
by Erynn Rowan Laurie
How can I answer this question?
Should I speak of winter, of bone-cracking cold?
Shall I tell you of dark mornings by the wood stove,
watching my breath rise in clouds, waiting for warmth?
We would sit by the light of kerosene lamps, their glow absorbed
by the scent of burning pine.
I do not miss the cold, or the work of the woodpile.
I do not miss
Childhood is gone. I have gone from my Berkshires
to a different life.
I have shed my down and grown flight feathers.
My heart has found a new home, in boughs of cedar and the salt-washed Sound.
I am glad of the rain, of mica skies over grey-green isles.
I welcome the distance between myself and that hill time,
that child’s place.
But this I remember — this I cherish:
the black moonless sky was sharp and clear and the stars
of themselves lit the snow.
Late February brought the growing sun, began the months-long thaw.
There was longing in me; longing for spring,
and the sweet scent of maple in the air.
This was the season of sugar, of light returning,
of tapping maples,
watching the slow drip of sap into bucket,
sweet icicles forming on the tap.
We gathered sweet water, the blood of maples:
the cold clear blood of spring.
The sugarhouse was bare weathered wood, silver in snow, and steam
rose in the still, clear air.
I remember this:
A single drop of cream stills the foam on boiling sap.
Fire in the sugarhouse warms the deep core of being.
The scent of maple hangs in the sky like milkweed seed in summer.
Erynn Rowan Laurie is a professional madwoman who has been fascinated by Gaelic and other Celtic cultures for over two decades. Her occult interests started when she was just a kid and she’s been doing astrology and tarot since about the age of 12. Poet, writer, feminist, musician, interfaith activist and disabled veteran, Erynn is one of the founding voices of the Celtic Reconstructionist Pagan movement and the author of Ogam: Weaving Word Wisdom.
Born in Rhode Island and raised in Connecticut and western Massachusetts, Erynn currently resides in western Washington, loving the mountains, forests, and water beyond all logic or reason. She enjoys hiking, backpacking, and camping when she’s able, and records the minutiae of her daily life and her spiritual and political ramblings at http://erynn999.livejournal.com Her latest collection Fireflies at Absolute Zero is due out October 31st from Hiraeth Press.