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.

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

Danu

Through long hills
And verdant valleys
I walk,

In darkening forest
And stoney fields
I breathe,

Of summer mist
And roaring thunder
I sing,

On storm tossed seas
And vibrant lands
I live.

© 2020 Maggie Grimes

Danu, goddess of ancient Ireland, mother of their gods and fae, and giver of knowledge, wisdom, and abundance. Danu, primal and ageless. The Dark Hedges of County Antrim make me wonder and dream of ancient stories and mysteries. This poem came to mind after I painted them. MJG

Selkie’s Lament

I walked quiet fields alone,
Heard the earth growing
Felt her calling,
Calling me to sow with love
And reap her joy,
The air was heated with her breath,

But I am born of the sea
The peace of earth is not mine,
The sea’s unnamed longing sends me seeking
A quest for islands dreaming in the sun,
The children of the sea my only brothers,
My only home, the sea,
Passion, storm, a sea bird calling.

©2020 Maggie Grimes
The painting of Spanish Point is from a photo by Stephan O’Sullivan. He captures the wild beauty of nature that is always an inspiration. MJG

Celtic Soul

Adventures daring
She remembers,
Doubt, courage

Old loves holding
She dreams,
Warmth, hope

Drifting cloudlike,
She wanders,
Serene, quiet

Nature refreshing
She heals,
Peace, beauty

A day’s dawning
She sings,
Endings, beginnings.

© 2020 Maggie Grimes

Free spirited, restless, loving, the selkie seems the embodiment of the Celtic soul. I must admit a fondness for the sea mammals since I originally planned to be a marine biologist. 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

Lugh

Days lost in darkness
Lugh rose,
Sun bright gleaming,

Gifts Lugh gave
Arts and war he crafted,
His foes conquering,

In light and learning
Lugh’s people flourished,
Long years shining,

Day fades
And night returns,
It’s fearful monsters hiding,

Breaking above the clouds
Newborn light blinds,
On wave tops dancing,

Shrouded night flees
Its darkness vanquished,
A fresh world waking,

Hope stirs
With light strengthened,
The new day facing,

Another chance for life
The journey not completed,
The sun rising.

© 2020 Maggie Grimes


Lugh brings not just physical light in his role as the Irish sun god, but enlightenment as the god of the arts and crafts.

The painting was inspired by a beautiful photo of Poolbeg Lighthouse at sunrise by the photographer Stephen O’Sullivan. Thank you. MJG

The Fairy Tree

The wild calls,
Scarce heard so quiet its voice
But haunting,
Sedate fields
Familiar hearths
Now dull and unappealing,
Longing for unkempt freedom
And unknowns,

The tree stands,
Alone,
Gnarled with seasons
Yet buds and blooms
In time,
Expectant, patient
Its ragged branches
Soughing an invitation,
An unlikely door,

The portal opens,
People of the Sidhe
Wild folk and fae
Cross its threshold
Moonbright and gleaming,
Music skirls
Timeless mysteries sharing
Enticing the unwary,
Lifting the heart or breaking.
© 2020 Maggie Grimes


The fairy trees of Ireland are lone hawthorn or ash trees standing in a field or on hilltop. Known to be portals to the Otherworld, the wise leave these trees unharmed to carry on their solitary duties. MJG

Cailleach

The Old One stirs
Stretching from her sleep,
Her blanket warm
And autumn hued,
Yawning she rises
Blinking her bright eyes
Sleep fading,

Washing her vivid blanket
She scrubs and rinses
In the gurgling spring,
Whitely shimmering
She spreds her blanket in the sun,
Her eyes twinkle
As she smiles,

Her purpose calls
Her journey to begin,
Removing old and worn,
Giving needed respite
To the land,
Preparing earth
For fecund spring,

To plant afresh
You first must reap,
To awaken healed
You first must sleep,
The new replaces old,
Her eyes warm
Ageless and wise.

© 2019 Maggie Grimes

Cailleach is the winter goddess, the crone, the old hag. She is a power of destruction and renewal. It is difficult sometimes to find hope in the middle of an icy storm, but spring comes only after winter. It is worth the wait. MJG.

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

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