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May Day
A Poets View

by Lea Docken

Spirits Of the Feast II by Patsy Hemsley
"Spirits Of the Feast II"
by Patse Hemsley

History tells us Mayday was a Pagan rite representing fertility of man and woman as well as the earth. It was the day where choices of life partners were made and revelry abounded. The Ancients built a huge bonfire and jumped over the fire or passed through the fire for good luck with spring planting. They even passed the livestock through the fire for prosperity. My imagination runs wild whenever I think of the old Mayday rites. Crowns of flowers and leaves adorning the heads of men and women alike. All laughing and having fun welcoming the warmth of spring. I see within my minds eye the men and women jumping over the fire. Always wondering if anyone got singed in the fun. Of course, they always left something for the fairies to eat so a pookah would not show up on their doorstep and bring bad luck.

MayDay came with a flourish of preparations at my house. We were preparing to celbrate the coming of summer with a festival. All week was spent preparing for the big event. My husband spent the week deciding what to use for a Maypole. Finally, he decided on a plastic piping available at any hardware or home improvement store. Due to time we were not able to dig a hole to place the pole in securely, so we used a Christmas tree stand to hold the ten foot pole. It worked. In order to get the ribbon on we had to tie it on top first then set up the pole.

Everyone held their ribbons as the pole went up. It was a beautiful site with ribbons stretching far. A stream of spring colors came cascading down as the pole stood reaching to the dusky heavens. We readied for the dance as the moon began to appear. Thirty of us surrounded the pole with ribbons. Facing a partner ribbons in hand we began the sideways dance of spring. Confusion reigned. We were stepping left when we should have been stepping right, right when we should have been stepping left. Through laughter we straightened ourselves to begin again. A volunteer called out steps to left then right. We still got confused, but still were able to weave a wonderful Maypole full of spring colors, warmth, laughter, and love. We tied the ribbon to the Maypole and cut any excess. Then we stood in a circle and gave Blessings to one another for summer. Feasting came after. Everyone brought something marvelous to eat. We chatted, laughed, ate, and had a MayDay Celebration worthy of the Ancient's Beltaine Celebrations.

Truly the Mayday celebration was poetry in motion. Weaving the moon, spring colors, laughter, and love into one special night is made for the poet in all of us. Next year the pole will be ready to weave again over this years ribbon. I can hardly wait to weave another cycle and celebrate the warm season to come.

My Mayday Blessing to you, dear readers, is to have a glorious summer of warmth, happiness, and prosperity which, will carry you through the dark months of winter.


Lea is the poetry consultant for Moondance, owns the Internet Fantasy Writers Association online list and has poetry published in Moondance, Ticklespot-Playground of the Goddess, Journal of Wisdom, Maelstorm, Siouxland an Anthology, and a local publication of Fantasy and Faerytales, and will have work in Business Women's Advantage Newsletter. She is Poetry Editor of Women Artists and Writers International Poetry Newsletter and WebPage due to appear in September. Lea's goal is to bring awareness of the great poets of the past to young and old alike. She just signed on as Consulting Poetry Editor for BWA Newsletter. Currently she is working on a Divination and Dream Guidance Column for Ticklespot. When she is not working on Poetry or writing fantasy or studying the esoteric, she is getting five teens ready to face the world.

More Poetry
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~ May Day; A Poets View ~

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