The Growing Time

Welcome to the second Monday Poem where seasons reverse from depths of Summer to first intimations of Spring. Our first Flash Fiction Friday post was set in darkest Winter, so please submit a poem (up to 40 lines) or a piece of flash fiction (150-500 words) inspired by Autumn  for publication on Cafe Aphra soon.

 ‘The Growing Time’

We stumble half-dead from winter’s withered wasteland
No march forward, we shamble into the light, blinking,
Counting losses, bellies empty, sickness survivors.
Is now the auspicious time?
Creeping light, shocks of colour, flashes of warmth
Promise change.
But we can never be certain.

Court good fortune, shape the growing year.
Propitiate our future with the right words
Quick now, make the blood token that marks
The end
The beginning
So that next dark-time, we will not starve or sicken

Familiar pledges fill the air
Fanning flickers of hope until belief blazes.

To appease, we take now one man, one woman.
Make them pliant with sweet drink.  Praise them for their purity,
Lavish them with words of honour and restrain their protests.
With arms, twine and whispers of hope.
Red splatters against unwilling ground
Liquid challenging dark and cold
                    Blood, light, life, growth
                    Blood, light, life, growth
                   Growing-time, remember us
                   Take account of our bargain this time.

Next, leave them, guarded, overnight - to be certain.
Spirits are suspicious after all.
At first light we’ll wrap them tightly,
Carefully, before placing them
Together – but not touching.
Never touching.  

Then, only then, can we breathe that it is done.
And make right honour to The King and Queen
of the Growing Time.
Did we do it at the auspicious time?
Absolutely and abundantly?                                                  By Q.  Irvine


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