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Samhain of Nicnevin 
by Christina Ciufo 

Golden-orange sunset

behind emerald cursus

oak trees.


Blue anchusas and lavender

bellflowers oscillate

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

for Samhain. 


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.

Women’s eyes

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. 

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