Poetry Sunday: Samhain by Annie Finch

Here's a poem for Halloween for you. Annie Finch writes about Samhain, the Celtic Halloween, but the images she uses will be familiar to all of us in the northern hemisphere during the Halloween season.


by Annie Finch

(The Celtic Halloween)

In the season leaves should love,
since it gives them leave to move
through the wind, towards the ground
they were watching while they hung,
legend says there is a seam
stitching darkness like a name.

Now when dying grasses veil
earth from the sky in one last pale
wave, as autumn dies to bring
winter back, and then the spring,
we who die ourselves can peel
back another kind of veil

that hangs among us like thick smoke.
Tonight at last I feel it shake.
I feel the nights stretching away
thousands long behind the days
till they reach the darkness where
all of me is ancestor.

I move my hand and feel a touch
move with me, and when I brush
my own mind across another,
I am with my mother's mother.
Sure as footsteps in my waiting
self, I find her, and she brings

arms that carry answers for me,
intimate, a waiting bounty.
"Carry me." She leaves this trail
through a shudder of the veil,
and leaves, like amber where she stays,
a gift for her perpetual gaze.


  1. There is a touch of dread in there to satisfy even the most dedicated Halloweener. No syrupy treats here.

  2. I like the lines about her mother's mother.

    1. Me, too. Especially the fact that "she brings arms that carry answers for me."

  3. Her words and descriptions of this time of year are so amazing. I wish I could write like that.


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