Old Bridey and the Vixen

Summer’s ripe,
Days loath the yielding to night
So rousing early,

Old Bridey stirs,
She’ll be out soon
Tending her day,

If she sees me,
Mist soft
She’ll speak,

She’ll wish me good morn,
Then share the village gossip
As she works,

Bridey will remind me
I must leave her hens alone,
I always do (unless they stray),

We are comfortable together,
Old bones warming in the sun
With our shared memories,

Our babes born and grown,
Seeking their own adventures
Still loved and missed,

Stretching I rise,
Knowing Bridey’s Blessing
I stalk the hidden mouse.

© 2022, Maggie Grimes

I look at a lot of photos of Ireland which inspires much of my art and poetry. One was of a fox which reminded me of the one that I sometimes see. We share quiet communications in our solitary tasks; I tending the horse and the fox its survey for it’s lawful prey. We are comfortable with the other’s presence. MJG

Ireland

She calls me
Long these many years,
Her songs
Her stories
Her poetry,
They speak of times
My people might have lived
Of places
They once walked
Of people they did love,
She calls me,
Ireland,

I was going home
Almost,
But these times
Are what they are,
In my art
I travel,
Her voice,
Sings in my poetry
Ireland calling still.

© 2020 Maggie Grimes

My planned trip to Ireland must wait a while longer. In the meantime, I paint and write my way there. My painting is of Kilfane Glen, Co Kilkenny, a picturesque garden dating from the 1790s. MJG

Beltane

The moon dances
Nightwind playing
Darkness sings with hidden voices

Feel the gravid power
Danu teeming
Birthing springtime with her riches

Join the dancers in their masks
Wildness leaping
‘Round the watch fires burning

Darkness kisses burning skin
Passion calling
Driving mad with ancient wisdom

Beltane beckons.

© 2020 Maggie Grimes

Beltane was the ancient Celtic celebration of spring. Old fires were extinguished and new ones lit. Fields and lifestock were blessed to insure fertility in the coming summer. Human connection, dependance, and responsibility to the land were reaffirmed. MJG

Darkness Into Light

It is dark
In the beginning,
The stars
Distant and cold,
The wind chilling
What warmth survived,
Sheep and shepherds
Huddle for warmth
Dreaming sunshine and spring,

Imperceptibly the darkness
Brightens to blinding light,
A whisper grows
To living thunder,
“Fear not
I bring joyful tidings,
A Savior is born
To God’s glory
And peace for earth,”

Eternal gift of Hope
Light unconquerable,
He is born.
© 2019 Maggie Grimes

May the hope and joy
of Christmas and a
Blessed New Year
be yours.

Samhain

Samhain comes
To moon washed meadows gleaming
Eager and expectant,

She dances
Wrapt in dreams and laughter
Mistress of the night,

She sings
Ancient songs to snare the soul
Passions from a different time,

Samhain comes
Melding worlds of separate realms
Changing with her touch.

©2019 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. The approaching darkness and cold of winter warmed by the hope of spring. The portals between realms, between Fae and human, the living and the dead, were open. Life ends, life begins, a Great Wheel turning, terrifying and enticing. Happy Halloween. MJG

The Great Hunt

I would know the Great Hunt
Just once more
Seek mysteries
Ageless power calling,

I would thrill to Hounds’ song
Just once more
Noble prey seeking
Field and forest coursing,

I would chase the Moon Road
Just once more
Seek the moonbeams dancing
Silvered shadows chasing,

I will know the Great Hunt
Just once more
Finding change
Clean, cold wind chilling.

©2019 Maggie Grimes

The ancient celebration of Samhain approaches when the Fae could freely leave their sidhe. If the horns of the Great Hunt sounds, stay home, lock your doors, hide away lest you become their prey. Only a cat would brave the magic with such nonchalance. MJG

Aground

She rests
Amidst the marshy grasses
Dreaming
Days plying the island routes
Wind and wave lifting
Lost in time,

She danced
Sea spray lacing her bow
Sailing
Her paint fresh against the waves
Chasing lightly the seals
Her frothy road guiding,

She felt
Her Master’s hand
Guiding
Firm upon the wheel
His voice next to God
Sending deck hands leaping,

She labors
Fishing or cargo and passengers hauling
Serving
Racing rising storm
To best the wind and drowning waves
For home’s sweet calm,

She rests
Amidst the marshy grasses
Dreaming
Days plying the island routes
Battered but harbor safe
Lost in time.

© 2019 Maggie Grimes

The painting and poem are inspired by a photo taken by Liam McNamara. The poet in me saw no defeat in the boat, battered though she was. I wish I could have done greater justice to his photo. MJG

Tales of Eire

There is a place
Of swirling mists
And sparkling seas
Craggy cliffs overtowering
Pounded by crashing waves
Seals drowsing on the shores
Dreaming stories,

Mystic waves of people
Coming and claiming
‘Til battles’ clangor the peace destroying
Mists reclaiming
Gods of power falling
Fae of sidhe
The Great Hunt riding,

Clans and kingdoms rising
Heroes born, trained to purpose
Fighting exquisite monsters
Braving terrors, following honor
And impossible quests
Gifts of songs and stories
Bequeathing.

©2019 Maggie Grimes

All I’ve read, studied, heard, and dreamed of Ireland only serves to inspire more writing, more painting, more studying. I am well past the naivety of youth to believe that Ireland is perfect but she still entices. MJG

Moon Of Cerridwen

She glows
Warm face shining
Awakening the night,

Wind stirs
Murmuring through the leaves
Caressing the silence,

Geese call
Voices descant
Raising evensong,

Night deepens
Burnished moonlight silvered
Banishing shadows,

Stars ignite
To dreamers guide
Entreating Cerridwen.

©2019 Maggie Grimes

In Irish mythology, Cerridwen is the keeper of the Cauldron of Knowledge, giver of wisdom and inspiration, a thing important to poets. Although the Celts didn’t worship the moon, it is a symbol associated with Cerridwen. The harvest moon of September 13, 2019 brought her to mind. MJG

Children of Eriu

We are your children
Lost
Longing for home
Crying in the night,
Forced to leave
From want
Or danger
Or daring
We do not belong,

We have built places
Fought
Raised families
Labored
Sacrificed
For strangers,
Still we look back
Missing ourselves,

We wait in darkness
Hoping
Listening for the voices
Of our mothers’ singing
Or the stories
Of proud heroes of our fathers,
We yearn for home
Knowing we must choose
And in choosing lose.

©2019 Maggie Grimes

I was born and raised in the USA. I am a product of predominantly Irish immigrants, with a bit of Scot and Welsh added to the mixture. I’ve noticed in others of similar ancestry that our ancestral home seems to call us. We share a sense of loss, of homesickness for a place we have not lived. Familiar and missed. MJG

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