Poetry Corner: Beltane Friends

Through the brightly coloured silken fronds, swirling

and plaiting around the old ship’s mast,

flashes a vision: Fresh-faced young sailor,

            dancing the hornpipe.


Now, with grey beard and boots strapped tightly, to hold

aching ankles, your legs again take flight,

sending you skipping, with pigtail flying,

            around the maypole.


My smile meets yours, as we duck and weave, ribbons

of laughter flicker through the dusk,

squeezed accordion notes impel our feet

            on to the end.


Beltane fires send out sparks, like shooting stars, and

light up glowing faces, raised in prayer,

ignite hope in our hearts, for we leap, hands clasped,

            over the embers.


When we leave, the ritual ended, you are lighter

of step, although tired, we are wreathed in serene smiles,

a dark shadow has lifted, dancing strangers become friends,

            in the magic of

               this night.

Wendy Alford         11th May 2011

Beltane face in the trees

credit: Bernie Bell

Thank you to Bernie Bell for sending in this poem by Wendy Alford 

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