Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Were Winds

Haworth Moor,
photo by Paul Barker,
from The World of the Brontes
by James Birdsall and Paul Barker ( Pavilion).

When I see by my almanac that at the year's cold solstice, the hours of darkeness remain constant for about a week-span before the earth wheels towards light, when each month the moon seems at the full for more than one solitary night, I can't accept a calends that limits a portal of candles and torches and bonfires to a single dark before a single dawn. To such a tidy time.

And because of the hallows winds.

The breath and voice of the Forgotten.

The Elder voices begin to murmur at the dying of the green and you may hear them calling from gold September on.

They sigh from the restless sweep of dry grass, and they whisper from the morning mists. They mutter in the autumn rain.

You may feel their touch, as in a cold blade's challenge laid flat against the lips, and in their chill grip on gloveless hands.

And see them, sometimes, when the wind gallops through the leaves, when the clouds charge down across the fields, and in the sudden aging of a face.

In the shimmering change of the shape of things and seasons.

They have been loose for longer than you think -- and stalk the world by daylight as by dark.

For many days I have seen the wind.

The consumption of alcohol may make you think you are whispering when you are not.


Carla said...

Beautiful. It seems reminiscent of the Minor Annals - does it belong in a longer story, or does it stand by itself?

Bernita said...

Thank you, Carla.
Hmm, never though of the Annals - but perhaps I should - had meant it as just a meandering seasonal essay.

Anonymous said...


This introduction is on par with the legendary beginning to The Haunting of Hill House or the opening stanza of The Highwayman.

You might want to tuck this one away.

Amy Lavender Harris said...


Bernita said...

Jason, I love it when you exaggerate!

Amy, thank you.

Dave F. said...

Very nice. I like it. A personification of the North Wind.

Charles Gramlich said...

Love the concept of the "were wind." Beautifully written as always. I'd buy a collection of your vignettes. These would be great meditations for writers.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Dave.

Charles, considering how vital and vivid your own writing, that is the highest compliment. Thank you.

spyscribbler said...

"gold September"

*sigh* And I was just blogging about how other authors inspire me. Some make me feel annihilated, LOL. Others, like you, make me feel wistful.

Maybe it still annihilates me, but it's so good it cheers me up, LOL, makes me wish upon a star.

raine said...

ABsolutely beautiful, Bernita.
(And I LOVE that photo).

kmfrontain said...

Beauiful essay, Bernita.

Bernita said...

"Annihilated, wistful" ???
Don't be silly, Natasha!
Look at all the stuff you've sold, you daft girl.

Thank you, Raine.I do too. In fact the piece was just an excuse to post the picture.

Thank you, Karen.

Gabriele C. said...

I'm with Charles. Few do vignettes like you.

Canada is colder. We hear the Elder voices in October first.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Gabriele.
If so, you're one of the few.

moonrat said...

what was the nonfiction book?! most people can't sell a book once, never mind twicce!! it must have been truly awesome. clearly you just need to sell it a third time.

Bernita said...

It was years ago, Moonrat.
Unique - at the time.

But by the time the dust settled, someone else came out with a similar one, and I was so disappointed, frustrated and heart-broken I didn't pursue it.

December/Stacia said...


I thought it was part of the Annals, too. I so love these.

Bernita said...

Thank you, December.
I shoulf re-work it a bit and put it with the Annals then.

Ello said...

THat was shiveringly good! Loved it! now I'm ready for halloween!

SzélsőFa said...

how creepy and beautiful...thank you for the experience.

Sam said...

Perfect for a glowering fall day.
Happy Halloween!!

Bernita said...

Thank you, Ello, Szelsofa and Sam!

Vesper said...

Beautiful. Every sentence is a gem.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Vesper.