This poem came out of some recent divination undertaken on my behalf. I was told that what lay ahead would be blackthorn, and I got to thinking about what that might mean for me.
On the Blackthorn Path
I walk a blackthorn path
This is a hard way.
The longest, cruellest thorns
Keen to breed infection
When they cut your skin
Pierce your shoes, snag
Your clothes, scratch and wound.
I will bleed on this journey
It demands sacrifice.
You cannot pass through
Blackthorn hedge or spinny
Only take the path suggested
Go where it tells you.
If you would take control
If you would lay a blackthorn hedge
In the old way, it is the hardest
Wood to cut, or bend or tame.
What results is long enduring.
Walk the blackthorn path
Through the first frosts and harvest
Vibrant purple sloes, make magic
With alcohol – there are rewards
On this difficult adventure
Reasons to take so hard a way.
Survive a winter and in spring
The pale, sweet profusion, blackthorn blossom
Waits for those who will travel this far.
Heart torn, soul battered, hurting
I walk the blackthorn path.
I will turn my frost into sweetness
Find strength in my obstinacy,
Learn from the blackthorn
Make what good I can
Honour the unforgiving guardian
Until the very end of the bitter road
No matter what that means.
If you are walking this path
I may find you along the way
However hard the walking
It is easier faced together.
There lies richness in fruit and flowers
And the path with fewest thorns.