New Year’s Blessing

Photographer unknown

❤ New Year's Blessing ❤
by Annette Marie Smith

May your soul be like an owl in winter
tree perched, ready to fly and soar
well feathered, for the snows to come
tuned to the moon to be able to bathe
in bright moonlight
star eyed and farseeing
and may you be one
of a parliament of owls
ready to shake the winds of the world
beneath the starlit sky of coming change.
May your soul be an Athena owl
signifying not only wisdom but also victory.
May you lull the voice of the wind to sleep
so that your soul's flight is filled with the silence
of talon sharp purpose
and finding what you seek.

Sometimes light pours…

Sometimes light pours
over the eyes like a gauze blindfold.
The light lays a veil over everthing,
a headscarf haze,
and obscures every bit as much as it reveals
a milky marvel of a waterfall
pouring into cauldron pools with steam
Brightness wears china cup hooves
and gallops over the plain of sight
becomes many, a mighty herd
and leaves
everthing and nothing
in its flight. — A Day So Bright, Annette Marie Smith

The Golden Bough

by Annette Marie Hyder

“I beheld fate looming for Balder,
Wooden’s son,
the bloody victim.”

If it’s true that I took my soul
and put it into an external object
for cherishing and safekeeping,
it is also true that this protection
has grown tusked
bars, has kept me half alive
and never free.

“There stands the mistletoe
slender and delicate,
blooming high above the ground.”

In Winter, mistletoe stays green
against the leafless oak
and grows not from the ground
but perches, like a verdant soul
upon the branches of the tree.

“Hod shall shoot it, but Friga
in Fen-hall, shall weep over
the woe of Wal-hall.”

The very sprig of my vitality
blindly (is love always blind?)
let loose against me
unstrings my heart
which crumbles golden
like withered mistletoe.

And mistletoe is ever harvested
in this way, situated between heaven
and earth, never allowed to touch the ground
but cut by pith scythe and caught on white cloth.

Weave for me a crown of thorns,
green flowers, white berries, cloven
from the golden bough that grows
on soul’s-desire tree–
weep amber tears and kiss
in remembrance of me.
From “The Real Reason the Queen Hated Snow (and Other Stories)”

Note: quoted portions one, two, and three are from the Elder Edda: Voluspa, in which the Norse Sibyl sees and describes the tale of the mistletoe.

Summer In the Midst of Winter, According To My Mind


My first winter in Minnesota, having moved from Florida, my mind kept switching the snow scenes and showing me sand scenes. Sand with sea grass instead of snow with dead grass greeted my eyes. Sometimes our minds shift what’s right in front of us to the familiar or the desired, a ghost overlay, false images that don’t fit the present facts but which have painted themselves so well in our minds that we can see them clearly for fleeting seconds despite actuality. — Annette Marie Smith

My father is the idea of a memory…

My father is the idea of a memory that I have been holding in the hands of my mind all my life. As that idea has been clutched like a lucky penny, rubbed like a favorite stone, held onto while being passed from one hand to another like a talisman, counted like the beads of a rosary…it has changed beneath the hands of my mind as if they are a magician’s hands and the idea of him, silk scarves, white rabbits, crimson roses pulled from the top hat of my psyche, is aways something mystical like a Proteus, borderline magical like parlor tricks, but never the thing itself. — Annette Marie Smith