There was a bit of good news in my e-mail inbox today. My dark speculative poem "Gathering of the Dead" has been accepted for publication in the Halloween 2009 issue of the dark e-zine Tales from the Moonlit Path. As always, I'll post a link when the poem is on-line.
"Gathering of the Dead" draws upon the link between faerie and the dead, perhaps even amplifying it for dramatic effect. I found my inspiration in a story extract included in The Ultimate Fairies Handbook by Susannah Marriot. The folktale that served as my inspiration, from Lady Wilde's Ancient Legends, Mystic Charms, and Superstitions of Ireland, concerned Hugh King's encounter with the fair folk late one November Eve. I took the idea of a gathering on a fairy rath on November's Eve, added some ghostly imagery, potentially fatal consequences, and perhaps a dash of irony, and turned the whole thing into a cautionary verse. And, as I tend to do quite often, I also threw in a bit of archaic vocabulary, using the word "gasts" as a synonym for "ghosts" or "spirits". (Gast used in that sense does appear in the archaic and obscure section of my old Websters New International Dictionary, as well as in the copy of the OED I consulted in the college library.)
I believe this will be the fourth poem of mine to appear in Tales from the Moonlit Path. I like it when this happens; after the second or third time, it gets harder and harder to think of it as just a fluke. By the fourth time, I actually begin to think I might know what I'm doing. Then again...
Anyway, I'm always especially pleased when one of my fairy lore pieces gets picked up for publication. And I'm glad that I managed to get this particular poem accepted for publication in a Halloween issue, since it is all about what happens on the fairy rath on November's Eve.