Grief like Horses (for dad)

by Jacqui Woodward-Smith

Cold autumn pavements carry mourning,
your whispered voice drifts on the breeze,
but I can't catch the words you send me,
like dying leaves lost to the trees.

I stand like stone on this cold pavement,
paralysed by all I feel,
but Dark Rhiannon surges past me;
Her dark-eyed challenge tinged with steel.

For I have been scarred by your passing,
your story carved into my skin.
Such beauty in the depths of leaving.
Such fear to let these feelings in.

I dread these waves that tower above me,
am threatened by the undertow,
but know that I cannot outrun them
and in their tides my healing sow.

This grief like horses drags me onward
When I would rest and dream you whole.
For I would die to journey with you,
but grief's wild currents claim my soul.

And, if I dare, I will ride with them;
allow this pain to wash me wild.
Or I could stay on this cold pavement;
deny the woman, stay the child.

So you will journey with your dying
and I will journey with my grief.
But we will touch on this cold pavement;
love whispered in an autumn leaf.

©Jacqui Woodward-Smith
(11th  September 2007 - 11th  August 2008)

Jacqui Woodward-Smith

Jacqui Woodward-Smith is a Priestess of Avalon, trained in Glastonbury and living in London. She facilitates the group Tribe of Avalon, which meets to connect to and celebrate the ancient British Goddesses through the festivals in the Wheel of the Year and the turning of the moon. She is passionate about connecting to the land as sacred, particularly in London, and about working to heal the wounds to the Sacred Feminine in all of us. She is a writer and a poet and has given many talks in London about the Goddess and the sacred land. She is a director both of the Glastonbury Goddess Temple and of the Southwark Mysteries, a community arts organisation which offers creative ways for people to respond and interact with their inner-city environment. She is also a Pagan Prison Chaplain. She can be contacted at
Jacqui Woodward-Smith

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