The Keening – Haibun by Paul Vincent Cannon

Frank at dVerse is hosting Haibun Monday and the theme is Happy Halloween. dVerse Poets – Haibun – Happy Halloween


“I can see lights in the distance trembling in the dark cloak of night. Candles and lanterns are dancing, dancing a waltz on All Souls Night.” Lorena Mckennitt

The Keening

Moving, yet completely still within herself as night pressed in gently around her, she stopped in a felt moment and stood in what seemed a right place of heart. Her bare feet connecting the hallowed ground, she raised her arms to the stars and danced in saintly solace, this way and that. She keened for love departed, for all her loves departed. She keened for the unknown. As the stars passed her voice softened to a love song, for all the faces now present as she had re-membered them. Her eyes opened with morning warmth and a garland of dew.

Hidden beyond stars
love remembered in thinness
as lotus shines.

 ©Paul Vincent Cannon

Note: the ancient Celts always believed that the spirit world interacted in special moments in "thin" places, the place between the secular and the spirit world was thin, touchable, knowable. Most often these thin places were in groves. Celtic Christians carried this into their own theological world view.                                                                                                                                                                                 


Filed under awareness, Haibun, Haiku, life, love, Mythology, poem, quote, relationship, Spirituality

69 responses to “The Keening – Haibun by Paul Vincent Cannon

  1. “keening” is such a beautiful word – so visceral. This is a lovely piece, a reminder of our need to remember the dead – and to celebrate the living. The dead are for life, not just for Halloween…

    Liked by 4 people

  2. The ‘thin places’ – a lovely idea, so well-captured by your words.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m with Sarah; I like the word ‘keening’, it’s so expressive. I also like the expression ‘thin places’. You captured this woman’s tragedy and grief so well in this piece, Paul, and connected it with the season.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you for including the additional information about thin places. Your haibun brings this concept to live beautifully.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The title ‘The Keening’ drew me in, and your haibun didn’t disappoint. ‘Thin places’ is so evocative and I feel this myself, being of a mixture of Celtic and Norse heritage.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ah, you know such feeling and thinking, I really love the idea of thin places and I find nature is the place for me. I too have Celtic ancestry so perhaps it’s in the blood. Thank you so much for sharing this Freya.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I think we’re most haunted by the memories of loved ones no longer with us. You’ve captured that spirit well.


  7. Beverly Crawford

    Taking us back to the Celtic origins. Well done!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. To my mind, this is what lies behind Halloween, the original behind the pastiche. It should be a celebration of how much we miss the dead, not a fancy dress carnival of zombies and horror characters. I love the gentle simplicity of this, and of course the keening.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Thin spaces… very interesting concept! Well done Paul!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Learned a new word–keening and the way you have expressed the need to keen and how nature gently presses around us is simply profound.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I ken you’ve glimpsed those ethereal figures dancing in the twilight … lovely composition Paul!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I love the image and the sense of that word keening. The image of her walking barefoot at a time like this makes me think of why she does it

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Beautiful, Paul. Uplifting.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. lync56

    So beautiful – it would be lovely to be able to do this to re-member – I really resonate with the concept of thin places


    Liked by 2 people

  15. Paul, lovely halibun. The image of the dancing, keening woman summoning ghosts of her past lovers is mysterious and romantic. ❤ Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. The thin places in groves as connectors between the worlds lends support to the idea that trees are part of our life-death cycle. Thank you for invoke those spirits and the commune in your poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Greetings from Scotland. Enjoyed this piece and will be back for more. My wee country is full of these places, you can still feel “a connection” when you visit.


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