Candle, Thread, and Flute

Title: Candle, Thread, & Flute: Poetry by Kathryn Hinds
Publisher: Luna Station Press
Author: Kathryn Hinds
Pages: 80pp
Price: $10.00 (paperback )/ $2.99 (e-book)

Candle, Thread, and Flute is a beautiful collection of poems by Pagan poet and elder Kathryn Hinds. It was released in 2013. As a poet, myself, I am always on the lookout for other women Pagan poets. I was sad to hear of her passing in the beginning of 2018, but am glad that we have this collection of poems as part of her legacy. (She has several published books for adults and children, but this is her only poetry collection, that I am aware of.)

Within this small book are familiar fairy tale and mythological figures, but under Hinds’ pen they become transformed and new. In “Mother of the Shadows,” Persephone hears “… a million wails/ of loss of pain, unnamable sorrow” and willingly enters the underworld:

I took the red fruit
It glowed like fire against the shades
I ate the red seeds
though I feared what might take root
said to myself
I am alive
made myself believe it

In these pages we also find Bast, Psyche, Bacchus and many other deities that Pagans and witchy types will enjoy reading about in poetic form. We travel to the “Summerland” and have a “Meeting” with a woodland god. We find ourselves pondering “If We Don’t Turn the Wheel, It Will Not Turn” as our ancestors did.

Candle, Thread, and Flute has a comfortable mix of Pagan-centric poems and poems which we might find in any anthology of contemporary poetry. Still, Hinds masterfully evokes her surroundings and emotions, with what can be called a Romantic Pagan air, as exemplified in “In the Fallow Garden”:

Regrets embed themselves
into a November twilight

The wind plays a rattle of leaves;
the sky promises stars

Kathryn Hinds’ more witchy poems are just as evocative. “Pomegranate” is one of my favorite poems:

The fruit flesh pulses
bleeding juice through my fingers
staining my thighs
A voice whispers
in my ear
come, union
I whisper in my heart

I come back to “Pomegranate” over and over again. I read “Winter Seed” when I want to feel hopeful and “The Blasted Tower” when I want to feel mighty. I read her very powerful “Becoming” aloud at my Beltane rite this year. Every time I have sat down to read a favorite poem or two from Candle, Thread, and Flute, I end up reading at least half of the book, and wind up with a new favorite poem from it. Highly recommended.

[Reviewed by Hayley Arrington]