Tomorrow we’re going wassailing. I’m very excited, it is something I’ve wanted to do for ages to brighten up this otherwise grey and miserable time of year.
For anyone who doesn’t know wassailing is most likely Anglo-Saxon in origin and you’ll find it happening in fruit growing areas around early to mid-January, depending on what calendar you are following. The point is to make sure the coming year’s harvest is a good and fruitful one. The wassail queen places cider soaked bread on to branches of a chosen tree and everyone sings, cider is also poured on the roots. Then everyone goes round all the trees banging and shouting to wake the trees up and chase off any evil spirits that lurk and would otherwise do harm to the trees. Exciting eh!?
Well with this coming up and me having a right old ponder this morning about getting some YouTube videos sorted out and I thought about doing a haiku a day. As the day goes on my brain ticks and whirrs…I shouldn’t pay it any attention half the time. Anyway I ended up with what will come in a moment. I feel like I’m jabbering and would normally like to keep my posts a bit shorter than this. It’s no a proper haiku, the only elements are the syllables and it is seriously lacking in sabi and wabi. I’ve kind of merged it with an old English folk song style due to the subject matter…I’ll shut up now, meditate on succinctness and you can actually read it.
Shout and bang and sing
with the wassail queen and king.
Ripe hopes, this year bring.
© Swarms Me 2017
Dreams of dappled shade
that hide the shadowed deeds.
Hawthorn flowers in her hair
her limbs are bloody weeds.
Kneeling at the treeline
of the wood that bears her name.
Slit from top to bottom
of words and hearts inflamed
Now she floats in the gasworks
Henry’s at the gallows steps
Monty can’t save you now Lizzie.
Curse your last ragged breath.
So tread carefully in the wood
of bludgeon and of blade
when all you really wish for are
dreams of dappled shade.
© Swarms Me 2016
This poem is inspired by a real murder in the woods near where I live that happened back in 1919. It’s a difficult personal historical story to read about. It reads like it was a shockingly destructive relationship (and that’s a kind description) from both Henry and Lizzie and that was before her murdered her. How he committed the act was spectacularly horrid.
I’m not a big rhymer so I’m not entirely happy with this at all. I’m going to re-visit it again in the future and will probably do another version.
Thanks for reading.
I watch a lot of YouTube and recently discovered Yuka’s Show and Tell I really enjoy watching her videos. There’s something calming and charmingly endearing about the way she presents herself and her stories on her videos. Anyway I came across the origami paper crane tutorial and started to watch as I usually would ready to listen to her stories. Then she began to tell the story of why origami cranes are so important to Japan, I’ve attached this NHK World article that talks about the history.
For me I felt a need to create 1000 cranes as a reminder to myself, sort of a meditation and to the respect of what a nation chose to do because they wanted peace. Our daily updates are going on the swarms and bee instagram here. Day 1 included a trial but every day we will create one each.