The Old Ways, a poem by Mairi McCloud

Yes, Friends.

It’s that time of year

the time of the year grown old and restless

the time of the passing of all things.

The old year

not as our grandparents knew it,

but our earlier parents,

shrinking into the dark night,

waiting for the spirits that come

as the year from a forgotten calendar

passes away.

It’s that time of year when

the falling rain sounds like furtive footsteps

behind you.

When the angry wind wants in

at every door and window –

tries the lock and roars

when we turn him away.

I cannot see them, but I hear them.

They who come in with the wind –

that hide behind the falling leaves,

They whose voices crackle in the sharp

bitter air.

They come again, friends,

at the passing of the year.

Mairi McCloud

I was born and raised in Utah, which is a busy and growing place. However, the weather did not agree with me – and, well, it was time to move on – so when I was in my early twenties I moved to central New York to live with my sister and her family. They live in a beautiful, rural spot and it was while in NY that I decided to go back to school (I had heretofore avoided university). I had already been studying Scottish Gaelic (as most of my ancestry is Scottish & my siblings & I were all raised with a strong sense of that heritage) and, at the community college, became very interested in archaeology. So I applied to several universities in Britain, and was accepted to Glasgow University, where I have been studying archaeology (and Gaelic) for the past two years. Just this past summer, I was able to go on my very first dig! Every year I learn and love Scotland more! There are no ends to the nooks and crannies yet to be explored. See my blog, Over the Sea to Glasgow.

All photos courtesy Mairi McCloud.


Filed under Guest Writers & Bloggers, Prose & Poetry

6 responses to “The Old Ways, a poem by Mairi McCloud

  1. Wonderful poem- atmospheric and haunting. I hear the wind, and those mysterious footsteps.

    Scotland is on my Bucket List. Mairi, I’ll be popping in at your blog. Thanks for sharing your poem here.

  2. Wonderful poem Mairi!! I love the pictures too. *smile*

  3. Love the visuals conjured up by your words, Mairi! I actually got goosebumps (and the wind is howling around here — perfect accompaniment!).

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