One, draped in crimson gypsy shawl,
a skirt that billowed ‘round her knees;
the other one was frail and tall,
her cardigan clutched ‘gainst the breeze
that blew across the ocean’s face
and kissed this day with salty grace.
I watched them walking, hand in hand,
along the beach. The errant wave
that ran across the rippled sand
to gently brush their feet, they gave
no notice, but just laughed and went
along their way, with grey heads bent
together ‘neath the noon-day sun —
a pose that spoke of how time blends
two separate lives and makes them one.
Lovers, sisters, or just old friends?
The answer is, “It matters not”
For love is love, no matter what.
And old love is the very best,
that love that’s lasted through the years
and, ‘gainst all odds, has stood the test
of time, through laughter and through tears
and all the living in between
then walks us through old age, serene.
© Mel DarkDeer 11/05
By Dianne Carey
The Baby Boomers have landed.
They’re changing everything.
Grandmas no longer knit,
They are into the “Line Dancing” thing!
Grandpas no longer whittle
nor take a leisurely stroll.
They’re pumping iron and biking
They have no time to be ‘old’.
The Gray Panthers were a beginning
Seniors taking care of their life.
With organizations and peer groups
With demands, and bargains, and strife!
They fought to continue the advantages
they had worked so hard to gain.
Leisure time to pursue their interests,
And doctors to keep them from pain.
Money from Social Security
They had contributed all through their life.
Their taxes to pay, what would be some day,
Retirement and the ‘good life’.
These cats refuse to be put on a shelf.
To be ignored and patronized
They’ve banded together with real heft,
To fight society’s ills, be advised
Their power is amazing!
Their bond will not be undone
They have the time to ‘fight the fight’
To ban ignorance, poverty, drugs and the gun.
Picture the grandmas and grandpas now
Building homes for the hopelessly poor.
Teaching all ages to read and how
To care for themselves more.
Tai Chi in the malls in the mornings
Visiting latch key children after school
Building programs to help unwed mothers
Diets and exercise and a day care pool.
Training our children and future leaders
While learning the latest computer
To volunteer, to assist, to teach
Skills they’ve spent their life to master.
We are all Gray Panthers inside
just lying in wait
For the days when work is over
And instead of gaining weight.
We will flex our mental muscles
And continue to be heard
for our experience and tolerance
and mastery of the written word.
We have knowledge in our fingers
We have wisdom in our soul
We have history in our minds and hearts
We’re not ready to be “old!”
Hear the words of the Grandmother of Time:
She who has been known as
Hecate, Erishkagel, Cerridwen, Kali-Ma,
Anna, Perenna, Spider Woman,
and many other names
– some feared, and some loved,
but none ever ignored.
She it is who brings wisdom and
the awareness of eternity.
She has been the Maiden, and remembers that joy.
She has been the Mother, and recalls that pleasure.
But age has changed her,
and taught her the mysteries of
the Wheel that is ever turning,
the Wheel that is life, death, and rebirth.
She is the whirling tornado, the erupting volcano,
the rising tidal wave, the trembling of the earth’s crust.
With age comes an understanding of the past,
and a glimpse of the future.
For, in the turning of the Wheel,
the past is the future,
and the future is the past.
She is the Learned One, the Teacher,
the Bringer of Inevitable Change.
She is the Dark of the Moon, the Hidden One,
the invisible unknown that lies ahead.
But do not fear her for she is not malicious,
and her touch, however harsh, is love.
Only in ignorance is she scorned and reviled.
Those who do not know her,
parody her as the ugly old woman
whose powers were said to blight crops
and sour the milk in the cow.
It is fear that turns her age into abomination,
her wrinkles into hideous deformity,
and her voice into an evil and manipulative cackle.
For those who sought power over the earth were afraid
to face her wisdom and her unalterable truth.
But in the old days, we sat at her feet to learn the most ancient lore.
From her came the knowledge of the healing herbs,
and the chants and songs that shaped our lives.
She sat in honour at our councils, our marketplaces, in our homes.
She governed our governing, and interpreted our laws.
She gave focus to our changing seasons.
She was our teacher, our oracle, our promise of rebirth.
Come, honour her as of old,
listen now to the words of Wise One,
the ancient Seer, the Crone!
I am Crone
I have learned to Know
I have wisdom to share and show
I am Crone
I have learned to Will
Manifest for goodwill
I am Crone
I have learned to Dare
It’s energizing I do declare
I am Crone
I have learned to Keep Silent
My happiness is reliant
~♥~ Portrait Of A Crone ~♥~
Her thinning hair
crown of her years
she wears in pride
the Hag, the Hagia,
the Hallowed one.
Her wise blood kept within
unspilled in menses
feeding her spirit.
Wrinkles dance ageless patterns
around her eyes – mirroring wisdom
around her mouth – speaking the truth.
Her neck sags softly
she naysays the peddlers
crowding to embalm her
with scalpels and collagens
with pastes, patties and powders
to quell and conceal her power
waxing with each waning moon.
The celebrated crowned crone
centuries old oracle
of human tribes.
Izabel Sonia Ganz
October 12, 1997
Hi. I’m new here and just wanted to share something from the traditions that I’ve been taught. While I am aware of and honor the pagan “tri-une” of Maiden/Mother/Crone, I have been taught that in many of the Native American teachings, there are four, not three, “ages of women”. The Crone or Grandmother is the elderly wise woman. The additional age is between the Mother and the Crone and is known as the Auntie. She is the woman who is past child-bearing years, whose children are grown and her responsibilites towards them are over so now she can focus on her own journey. The Auntie, finally, has a sense of who she is. She is not “wise” yet, but is on the path towards becoming so. She is the one who sits in the moonlodge with the bleeding women to teach them the lessons they need. If you’ve ever seen a traditional women’s dance at a pow-wow, you will see that the women move very slowly and stand regally erect. This is because they (we) understand that it is on our shoulders that the world rests. This is where I am. I am an Auntie….and a long way from wearing the title of “Grandmother/Crone”.
Just to clarify…I’m putting this here just to show another tradition that honors the Crone and not to try to compete with or dishonor any other traditions. I love diversity and learning about different ways of being.
And…if I may….I’d like to share another poem that speaks of these “4 ages of Women”:
‘NEATH THE LIGHT OF THE MOON
Four women are we ‘neath the light of the moon
Well, me, not quite yet…but someday real soon.
I am the Maiden, I sit in the East
Honored to be at my first Women’s Feast.
Mom’s here with baby. She sits in the South
Heeding each word out of dear Auntie’s mouth
As she tells us the stories that help us recall
From her place in the West, where she sits, proud and tall!
While there to the North sits the elderly Crone
Her hearing is failing, her sight nearly gone
Yet with eyes that are cloudy she sees more than most
She speaks now to Spirit and calls in the ghosts
Of the Grandmothers past, of the Women Before
Who speak in our hearts now and guide us once more
And we sing all together the Woman’s one tune
As four women we sit, ‘neath the light of the moon.
© Mel Dark Deer 1996