(Poem) Samhain by Annie Finch

Samhain/Deep Autumn altar by Glenys Livingstone

In the season leaves should love,

since it gives them leave to move

through the wind, towards the ground

they were watching while they hung,

legend says there is a seam

stitching darkness like a name.


Now when dying grasses veil

earth from the sky in one last pale

wave, as autumn dies to bring

winter back, and then the spring,

we who die ourselves can peel

back another kind of veil


that hangs among us like thick smoke.

Tonight at last I feel it shake.

I feel the nights stretching away

thousands long behind the days,

till they reach the darkness where

all of me is ancestor.


I turn my hand and feel a touch

move with me, and when I brush

my young mind across another,

I have met my mother’s mother.

Sure as footsteps in my waiting

self, I find her, and she brings


arms that hold answers for me,

intimate, waiting, bounty:

“Carry me.” She leaves this trail

through a shudder of the veil,

and leaves, like amber where she stays,

a gift for her perpetual gaze.


From Eve (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2010)

Meet Mago Contributor Annie Finch.


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[…] Gaelic Holiday which marks the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter. Read the poem here to see this piece, originally published in Eve in the Carnegie Mellon University Press in […]