Halloween – folktober – Lunantisidhe
All works by Liam Smith
He wanted his house here, in this field where I bide. My home for his he thought a fair exchange. With nought in it for me, except to make me homeless.
My home was not in the middle of the field. Tucked away in the bottom corner in the way of no man. Dwellings and dwellers had been here before over many years. Generations even. Yet, he and only he, thought I’d not retaliate.
Aye, some men are fools to themselves. They forget all they learn as children in their pursuit of becoming masters over the land. Never learning that the best you can do is be a good and caring husband to her, but never ever a master. For the land bites back when she is ill treated. Remember that if you take nothing else from this tale. She bites back. Her teeth can be fatal. I and she can work in harmony, though I am less patient than her.
To my tale, anyway. I was in my home, which was dwindling slowly. This man decided that tonight was a wise night to steal from my home, again.
I knew he’d stolen from me in the past. A piece of wood here, a little there. Being Lunantisidhe, you will know I have little truck with humans who dream of being gods and goddesses. Most learn quickly or know better than to invoke my ire. Not this fool.
I knew he intended to come as I heard his wife make him promise not to ‘touch the tainted tree’ and his brazen reply that ‘only silly folk believe in faeries and he would do as he pleased’.
I had warned him before, with barbs and prickles that caused him enough pain to give him pause. But not enough, obviously.
He made his way down the field and began hacking, splitting the wooden walls and then I lost my temper. Feeling my spikes within his skin in several places he stopped and cursed the midges, the thorns, but his blind eyes and deaf ears were not open to see me. He took with him a chunk of the tree in which I live. My curse should have rang in his ears, but they were still closed. Nor did he fear Samhain night as any sane man might when angering the faeries. And we Lunantisidhe are not known for our niceness.
He arrived at his home, trying to look unaffected and bold. Yet, his wife saw the wood in his hand and made him leave it outside. Her plan to return it when he slept that night. She was willing to take the consequences of his anger, later. But not the anger of the faeries.
The man did not sleep that night, or the next. He died on the day after. Terrified and covered in scratches and bites he could not explain. He slept in permanence after his wife in her wisdom returned the wood and whispered on the wind for forgiveness.
I did not curse her. After all she knew best and stayed unheeded. She knew the tale that the Lunantisidhe will curse you should you cut wood from the Blackthorn on Beltane or Samhain and my home of course is there.
You would defend your home, would you not?
FOR OSSIAN BY SPANGLE MCQUEEN
some of the gentlest folks I know
have souls tinged
with a love of darkness
blackness and bloodstains
bind their haunted air
stains steel-pierced skin
on glossy paper
as though they
in everyday life
pretending to be playful
black holes where
lie in wait
guised as witches
begging for soul cakes
those children now
done and dusted
of their older selves
a whiff of
from beyond the veil
* Haunted Air by Ossian Brown (http://hauntedair.com)
(First featured in Lonesome October Lit https://lonesomeoctoberlit.wordpress.com/for-ossian-by-spangle-mcqueen)
Moon faerie they call us who guard Blackthorn.
Cailleach’s stick. We worship her who only
uncovers part of her face, then full on
face. She is crescent, blood, blue, wolf, Barley.
I’m spiky like the gnarled thorns of our home.
We curse all who threaten our place, break her
inhabited heart, this beautiful crone.
lit by storm, chaste, seed, corn, dyad, mead, hare.
Red sap, white flowers, black bark. The year’s,
a life’s, the moon’s waning, celebrates all
change with my long arms, legs and pointed ears.
I’m one you struggle through, a sharp wall.
Both moon and tree are our close belonging.
Bark, berries and leaves clean blood, are healing.
Bios And Links
is a happy grandma and hopeful poet living in Sheffield. She is proud and grateful to have work accepted and/or published by Three Drops Press; Picaroon; Lonesome October Lit; Bonnie’s Crew; Burning House Press; Dwell Collective Zine; Strix; Awkward Mermaid; I am not a Silent Poet; The Writers’ Café; Foxglove Journal and Sad Girl Review.
has been writing stories, poems and verses since she was a child.
It’s not always what is considered poetry by some, as she isn’t a lover of sweet, schmaltzy rhymes!
She is currently writing her first novel. A psychological thriller with a paranormal element, and she hopes to bring out a poetry collection one day!
She lives on the Isle of Skye. While some of her poetry is written from personal experience, others are written from her slightly dark and twisted imagination.