Samhain of Nicnevin
by Christina Ciufo
behind emerald cursus
Blue anchusas and lavender
alongside the trail.
The mystic night looms over
the fog-covered moors.
Tawny owls fly and glide
through the tree branches.
Their brown-grey wings
brush against scarlet-brown leaves,
hooting with the rustling branches.
Scarlet-brown leaves swirl.
Brown twigs snap and plummet
to the ground.
Scottish Deerhounds roam
through the trees and caterwaul
their Gaelic song.
A full moon appears and conquers
its’ enchantment over Torrinch.
Witches with burgundy dresses
and black-hooded caps walk in precession
entering Torrinch’s darkness.
They carry torches and bountiful offerings
of pumpkins, rosemary, poppy petals
chicken carcasses, pig’s black eyes,
snake’s shed skin, black cat’s tail,
a pair of batwings, dead man’s dried tongue,
young man’s blood and a virgin’s tear
Like phantoms roaming on the moors,
they approach closer and closer
towards the bonfire.
Ancient, chipped rectangular stones
coiled in Danu’s emerald moss -
inch to inch from each other,
forming a ritualistic circle.
underneath the moon’s glow
and fire’s flicker
into slit green cat eyes
One by one,
each witch threw
her offering into
the bonfire’s broadened
charred mouth. Its’ scarlet-orange
lips gulped and swallowed
pugnaciously down the offerings.
Its’ scarlet-orange flames
rose impiously towards the tree
tops. It becomes green-black flames.
Like sirens singing their noxious incantation
out to sea, the witches hypnotically
sing their pagan chant to Nicnevin.
Hail, hail Nicnevin, divine
Fairy Queen of Scotland.
Hail, hail Nicnevin, our lips yearn
to imbibe and our bodies hunger
for dark magic.
Tempt and submerge
our mortal bodies into darkness.
Let our souls be pugnaciously
swallowed by the full moon
and irreligious, pugnaciously
green-black flames, becoming
witches of Scotland.