Tears of Eriu

I wept for you
My sons
My daughters,

Ragged, starving
Hounded from the land
Grieving its loss,

I cast you free
My daughters
My sons,

Strong stories
Wild music soaring
Guiding through the dark,

I blessed you
My sons
My daughters,

Long years labor
With hearts undaunted
Home remembering,

I welcome you
My daughters
My sons.

© 2021 Maggie Grimes

Fastnet  Lighthouse is the westernmost of Irish land, the last sight of home for so many Irish  emigrants. It is known as Ireland’s Teardrop. Eriu wept with her children.MJG

Imbolc

Little springtime
Are Nature’s blessings
That brush aside
Winter’s tousled hair
Clearing her wild eyes,

Brief, bright moments
Of stolen sweetness
And cherished warmth
While harsh winter rests
Her frigid labors,

Such stillness calls
The battered spirits
From their struggles
To bask reveling
In warm caresses,

Little springtimes
Are Nature’s blessings
Intimacies
When Earth delights
In shivering pleasure.

© 2021 Maggie Grimes
The first of February is celebrated as Imbolc, the beginning of spring. Although Brighid, Dagda’s daughter is bright and eager for fresh beginnings, frigid Cailleach doesn’t let go easily. Still, early blooms peep through the snow, eager for life. MJG
 

Christmas Joy

Winter’s darkness blankets
A broken world,
Fear, hatred and grief
Familiar companions,
But not forever
Even in this abyss
A spark burns,

He lives
Indomitable hope
Refusing defeat,
Upholding, empowering,
He lives
The light unquenchable
Love eternal,

Rejoice and be glad. His light vanquishes all darkness.

© 2020 Maggie Grimes


Have a loving and Merry Christmas
and a blessed and Happy New Year

Maggie Jane Grimes
Christmas 2020

Christmas Light

In the darkness
Wandering,
They travel
Because they must,
A new family
Leaving home,
Only their faith
Gives them strength,
Only their faith
Keeps them obedient,

An unfamiliar land
Holds few landmarks,
A distant light
Beckons them,
Growing brighter
It leads them onward,
Only the light
Rekindles their faith,
Only the light
Guides them to the manger.
© 2020 Maggie Grimes

On Christmas Eve, the youngest member of the household lights a special candle and places it in the window. The warm light of the candle guides the Holy Family to a home where their arrival will be welcomed. My talented daughter made this Christmas candle. MJG

Christmas Blessing

May
Christmas memories warm you
Laughter delight you
Peace and hope renew you
And the light of His love guide you,

May
You know the Mother’s sweet joy
The Father’s quiet pride
And the Child’s deep faith,

May
You feel the joy of the season
Hear the song of the angels
See the glory of His gift
And share the wonder of His birth,

May
You have a Merry Christmas
And a Happy New Year.

© 2020 Maggie Grimes

I wanted to share some of my poems and art of past Christmases. Nollaig Shona Dhuit. MJG

Cailleach’s Time

Implacable in her hunger
The Old Woman tightens her coils,
Nature smothered
To whispered pleas ,

Hypnotic power in her gaze
The Old Woman paralyzes,
Nature entrapped
By sunless time,

Arrogant, pitiless power
The Old Woman consumes,
Nature restrained
A new spring waits.
© 2020 Maggie Grimes

Cailleach is the winter goddess, often seen as a crone, older than time. Hers is the primal power of destruction which leads to renewal. One must endure the storms of winter to find spring. MJG.

Eala

The sun’s warming kiss
And soft mists rising
Beckon,
Morning calls
Wings stretch beating
Lift,

Rich the bonded years
Two and one together
Loving,
Silvered wings lifting
Our flighted wedge
Soaring,

Lonely skies to travel
Since his sweet song
Stilled,
The cygnets raised
Cared and guarded
Alone,

The sky calls
Wings to freedom
Lifting,
Duty met and love awaitng
The Otherworld
Inviting.

© 2020 Maggie Grimes
In Irish mythology and culture, the swan often symbolized love and fidelity. They usually mate for life. The swans are found in Irish mythology and are often associated with music and purity, able to travel between the mortal world and the Other. My painting was inspired by a photo by Ray McCann Photography. MJG.

The Amazing Tom Crean

Tom Crean,
He amazes me
How he faced the darkness and the danger
Days of freezing labor
And Death a spectre waiting,
Cheerfully he gave his strength
Sharing songs and laughter
Refusing defeat
Hoping, believing
Indefatigable and indomitable
Yet he came home to a different adventure
In his family content
Finding his own South Pole there,
No old and endless polar tales
But focused on the living
His friends and family serving
An Irishman was Tom Crean,
His life amazing.

© 2020 Maggie Grimes
After his medical retirement from the navy in 1920, Tom Crean and his wife Ellen opened a public house in Annascual. He called it the South Pole Inn. He never tried to relive past glories or bask in old accolades, focusing on his family. He died at sixty-one when his appendix burst traveling to an available surgeon. He was an incredible Irish hero. My poems Tom Crean and Tom Crean’s Dance were posted earlier. MJG

Samhain Plays

Hurry travelers
Race the coming darkness
Already watchfires blink and kindle,
Be still and listen
Lift high your head
Testing the wind
Like the wild deer,
Darkness stalks the careless,
The daring,
The foolish,
Creeping closer,
Winds stir
Rattling the sleepy trees,
Gateways open in the hills
Wild music skirling
Worlds meeting
Anticipation shivers
Moon kissed shadows,
Soon, soon
Changes come
Both the gaining and the losing,
The Fae folk ride
And lost ones roam,
If you must venture
Keep your lanterns lit
And know where the water races,
Samhain plays tonight.

© 2020 Maggie Grimes

Samhain of the ancient Celts was a celebration and recognition of endings and beginnings. The labors and harvest of summer in preparation for winter done. Life ends, life begins, a Great Wheel turning, terrifying and enticing. Happy Halloween. MJG

Danu Pondering

I am young
Maid innocent
Beauty fresh,
Years stretching
Endlessly hopeful
Invincible,
Eager wife
A husband joining
Consuming passion births,
Heart, belly, breasts
So full and nurturing
Matronly duties mine,
A crone’s reflection
Haunts me
Gnarled hands wringing,

I watched my children
Long these years
Life so full and fleeting,
Roaming, building
Casting aside
To build anew,
A savage maid
Matron, crone
Await,
My heart breaks
But hope remains
The future beauty holds,
Oh the years
Taunting and capricious
As the wind.
© 2020 Maggie Grimes
I realize that the triadic goddesses of Irish mylthology don’t represent the stages of life, but rather mystical truths ruled over by different aspects of a triple goddess. I am a poet of Irish-Celtic ancestry and this is how I heard their words. In ancient times we lived in harmony and balance with the natural world. We respected Nature and our place in it. We have forgotten these truths and are now paying for our hubris. MJG

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