A Samhain Poem | A Witches Lament

They hide the truth,
these gaudy costumes,
the carved lanterns,
the trick or treat.
Reality is macabre,
glossed by lies and pretense.
They fear the truth.

Once, I was revered.
Earth’s power rose within me,
I cured, I foretold,
I held in my soul
the key to life’s mystery,
and the Goddess spoke through my voice.
Once, I was adored.

In those days I could fly…
Yes, really.
But superstition and ignorance
stripped me bare.
Instead, I turn away
and I hide.
Oh, but I could fly!

Fires honoured the dead,
they blessed summer’s end,
witnessed the birth of a year
dark and terrible and new.
They brought light, warmth, hope
to where the darkness was.
Now, they consume the living.

Women like me,
we burn in the flames,
we drown in the bog,
held down by the weight
of our skills, misunderstood.
They hunt us, they hate us,
women like me.

What once made us powerful
thus renders us weak.
The old ways can’t prevent
the onslaught of
the new convictions.
The danger of zealots
makes us only fearful.

I was beautiful, then.
With youth on my side,
and the knowing of the universe
filling my heart.
I was invincible, or so I thought,
until I watched them suffer and die.
I am withered and empty, now.

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25 Comments on “A Samhain Poem | A Witches Lament

  1. It is our responsibility to not let the ignorance of the new eclipse the wisdom of the old. Much, but not all is lost. What is remembered lives. I wish people could stop being so eager to destroy what they do not understand. Your grief is justified. There is no way to take back what is already done.


    • Ali, I also wanted to say this is a moving, heart felt poem, and I love it. I very much resonate with what you’ve said. I’m also deeply saddened by what the church has done in the name of their god, the dis-empowerment especially of women, and a general absence of respect and care for our history. Thank you and, either your character or the person who spoke through you, for writing and sharing this.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you Éilis. I wanted to write a ‘seasonal’ poem, but didnt expect something quite so dark to burst forth lol! Interesting where it came from…


    • You are right of course, otherwise we become just like them. But although this poem is about what the Christians did to pagan wise-women of Ireland, and across Celtic Europe actually, its not just Christianity which has done this to women. Where does this fear of womenkind come from? There must be more to it…


      • Yes, I agree. The Romans oppressed and feared women as much as the church, and that’s just one of the older cultures I know much about. It happens everywhere, all over the world. I wish I knew the reason why, too. Sometimes I wonder if, psychologically and possibly subconsciously, men fear women’s power to sustain new life, a life separate from but interconnected to them which moves through them into the world. But I doubt that’s the whole story, either. We have to empower ourselves, and now that people are beginning to really recognize the destructiveness of patriarchy, it’s clear that men are affected by the system as much as women are, only in different ways. Oppression serves no one, not even the people it claims to privilege.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I never thought about the Romans but yes they did suppress women, didnt they? I’m very grateful our Celtic ancestors were a bit more forward thinking!


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