Elderberry Power

Lessons I’ve been learning recently all came to the fore and were confirmed for me a few nights ago in a nurturing Samhain gathering of like minded souls. There was a fire, Irelands oldest stone circle, blessed water from St Gobnaits holy well, elderberry juice, poetry, songs, blessings, time to reflect and let go of what we no longer need and most of all a deep genuine willingness from all present to show up with a desire to re connect, value and appreciate our land and ancestors.

This was my first time to read and share my poetry to a group and when I was invited I knew that I must attend. Now I realise the connections made and lessons learned have hit me deeply at a soul level, an awakening of sorts.

For too long I’ve walked a path that was not mine, not true to my own soul and life purpose. I’ve tried to fit in and change myself in so many situations at the cost of my dreams and happiness. As this is Samhain, a time of letting go and moving forward to preparing our souls for darkness and healing I feel I’ve always been hesitant about change. Yet now I’ve finally found a door, grabbed it by its handle, opened it and burst through. And it feels like home.

The difficult part for some people is that not everyone or everything is fitting through this new door. It’s difficult to let go of people who make you feel bad for growing without them. Their need for your presence in their lives pulls you backwards and forwards and yet we know we must step through over this new threshold without them. This is the time.

I have to go back a little bit to mention something very significant that is linked to current events. A month ago just before the full moon I made elderberry syrup. I picked elderberries, hawthorn, sloes from our gardens hedgerows. I knew I had to make this, there was an urgency that I did not understand. After making the elderberry syrup I was inspired to write a poem, the words just started to flow. Words I did not fully understand either. At a Samhain gathering a few days ago as  we sat close to the Grange Stone Circle in the dark by a fire that very poem and the elderberry juice I made was enjoyed by the group.

Why am I telling you this? Because anyone who has self doubts like I have, anyone who thinks what they create is not good enough then believe me when I say this it is more than enough. I’ve learned that our words can help to heal wounds. We don’t even have to know why or fully understand it. We just have to make sure we write them, speak them share them. They will find their way to the souls who need them.

Sometimes we feel lost, feel we don’t belong, feel we are amongst people who don’t get us. Then when least expected we are found or we find them, it’s not always clear. But the main thing is keep travelling and you will know in your soul when you have arrived.

On this rainy Halloween night I’m filled with gratitude for the people I have in my life, the old and the new, the ones who “get me”. I’m especially filled with gratitude to those who have recently come into my life and encourage me to keep writing. These are my soul tribe that I will continue to breathe in. And with one big exhale I breathe out all who make me feel bad for growing without them.

I’m finishing with the poem “Elder’s Blood” that I’ve mentioned in this piece.

Thank you for reading.

Samhain Blessings

Yvonne @YsWords

ELDERS BLOOD.
I held a gathering of elderberries in my hands,
watched their dark insides pulse through my squeezing fingers.

As the drops stained my clothes, I knew this was the fermented juice
of our ancestors wishing bones
rising back up from the earth that long ago
buried their longings, their wishes, their secrets

until the roots and sap of trees poured
their power within roadside hedgerows.
Now we see how you shine, feel how you soar
in sky high elderberries, sweet hawthorn and the blood red wild rose.

I drink its darkness, lips stinging
as elders blood sinks
into my being.
I know this is the earth’s prayer
gifted to me
to swallow memory
and write their longing bones free.

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Lavender Pillows

White merging with white.
One beauty spot like a dark eye
watching his lips move along her neck
in rose guarded beds.
Lavender pillows, purple breaths.

Harvesting a midnight flutter,
moths circling the flicker,
unbuttoned crescent moon
butterfly wings, silver light
beams on fairy rings.

Cherishing soft-tongued primrose 
caresses, goodbyes drowned
in blue starlight kisses.
Departures carrying bitter-sweet
buttercup reminiscences.

By Yvonne Brewer @Ys Words

Artist Valery Rybakow

Delighted to be included in ISSUE 23 Beyond Words Literary Magazine

Wonderful news to hear my poem ‘CHOCOLATE FINGERS’ was selected as one of the winners of THE CHILD 250-word creative writing challenge by BEYOND WORDS-LITERARY MAGAZINE. You can read the poem along with many wonderful pieces of works in the February 2022 edition of Beyond Words, available to order @ https://www.beyondwordsmag.com/

https://www.beyondwordsmag.com/online-store/Beyond-Words-Literary-Magazine-Issue-23-February-2022-p429698957?fbclid=IwAR1X7XWkBVbYkDiuvk952Qh7a1XpYSUsdCIkwHHyViNeVyrBh9zEyrYj2Zg

Poem featured in “SHE FLOWS ALONG” Project

Thank you to Kathryn Crowley for including my poem “The Blanket of Sound” in her creative writing and art project in response to 12 themes affecting women in Ireland today

“When I saw the words ‘She Flows Along’ it brought up memories for me of my sons’ births. It evoked a mixture of feelings I had of flowing, floating, sinking, drowning, breathing, trusting as I gave birth.” -Yvonne Brewer.

THE BLANKET OF SOUND

By Yvonne Brewer

It sounded like a cry of pain, of sorrow.

I knew by the way her arm shivered

that one of the midwives

could not bear the sounds

I made as I laboured and

gave birth to my second son.

I don’t know where the voice came from

or if it was a voice,

it was more of a battle roar

a victory cry

a cry that came from

an oasis within

a cry with no tears

a howl, a song

that had been buried

for so long.

it was someone’s voice

an unknown

but deeply familiar voice

that was ancient

locked away

in a little room

with a fairy door

that I had carried

beneath my skin

from the beginning.

like a secret room that was walled

with shame and hidden pain

a place where girls

were told to be quiet

told to be good

told tears were not allowed here

in this pretty dolls house

told it is wrong, told don’t cry

it will upset them, told to be strong

but my strength my silence

my good my fears my cries

my scream my dreams

all pushed through

the doorway and all

knitted together to make

this weaving pattern

this patch work, a blanket of sound

that was borne with his coming.

a warm blanket that wrapped around him

as he entered this world

saying it’s okay to feel and release your voice

it’s okay to be heard

it’s okay for us to cry together

a voice that opened me

erupted me a voice that broke

all silences a voice that

carried me from turbulent dark waters

to safe earthy home ground.

Bio Yvonne Brewer lives in East Cork and is a Mum to two teenage sons and enjoys writing poetry. www.yvonneswords.wordpress.com

Visit www.artyshe.com for more information about Kathryn’s work and project.

The Red Dress

The Red Dress


She gently stitches the final layer of red lace on the cuff of the sleeve. 

Adds more velvet covered buttons on the back.

 Runs her fingers along the curves of the skin-soft fabric. 


Smiling, she imagines the voluptuous shadow,

 the mannequin sprays on her workshop floor, 

has a handsome dance partner 

who takes her hand as they saunter

to the secluded garden. 


Spinning her as she careens

in golden sandals, he steals a kiss

between their gliding rhythmic steps. 


Mistletoe berries and the red fabric glow with the light of the moon, 

creating an iridescent carpet of brightness. 

The humbled trees hide in faded clothing of shyness. 


She sews one last button. 

Her delicate creation is placed 

with pride in the tiny shop window.

Like a red traffic light, it pauses the rushing

evening Christmas shoppers on the 

narrow cobbled street.

To dream and wish and blush. 

Portrait of a lady by Tanya Jacobsz from DeviantArt

Thank you to Women’s Spiritual Poetry for publishing my poem The Red dress on December 2020 read it her in this link

https://womenspiritualpoetry.blogspot.com/2020/12/the-red-dress-by-yvonne-brewer.html

Under A Goddess Moon

Thank you to Witch Magazine for publishing my poem ‘Under a Goddess Moon’ in their Imbolc Issue🙂

Under a Goddess Moon

I felt the breath of a poem

shiver on my skin.

It turned me in my sleep

and I fell into a world of white silk,

spun by a Goddess of love

riding on a swan carriage on

the crest of high sea waves.

White flesh on a fireside white sheep -skin

rugged by the heat of burning fresh coals.

White snow- flakes pressing against

the window- pane, trying to spell your name.

Melting as they shimmer down out of sight,

one with a world of white.

Dressed later in white velvet layers,

white swan and owl feathers in my hair.

Snowdrops peeping flashes of light

through green, whispering,

did you paint these words on my skin

with your breath,

did you trace them in the night sky

as if I could forget?

By Yvonne Brewer

Feb 2021

WITCH Magazine Issue #14 by Witch Magazine – issuu

thank you writing.ie for the feature

In December 2020 I decided to set up a facebook group for Irish writers in order to support the Irish writing community. Writing.ie featured a piece on their website about the group:

“Shop Irish Writers came about when I decided to start a Facebook group for Irish writers to showcase their writing, their books, their Facebook pages or blogs. I felt that as a new writer myself that I needed some positive inspiration and being able to see the products of writers’ labour listed in a group gives a sense of pride and confidence which I feel is very important to all writers.

I have been in a few online writers groups that discussed the process of writing and tips and challenges. Such groups are very supportive and helpful. For me right now I felt that a focus on the product rather than the process was needed.

Personally I think that Irish people can be their own best critics. We need to be our best supporters as well.

The group is open to everyone with an interest in writing or reading. The main aim of the group is to provide a space where Irish writers of all genres can share their work and let people know where and how they can buy their books. This gives readers and book lovers a chance to see the work of Irish writers in one place. The main rule really is that the only people who can post their work in the group are Irish writers living in Ireland or anywhere in the world.”

Read the rest of the article here Building a Writing Community: Shop Irish Writers Facebook Group by Yvonne Brewer – Writing.ie

Join the group here Shop Irish Writers ☘️ | Facebook

All welcome x