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
 

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 Irish Fox

Be still
Do you hear?
Listen, listen, listen!
The bright moon has risen
Silvering the mists,
Hear it now?
The music whispers
Like a wind rising
Wild, primal, calling
Horns sounding
Bells chiming
Hounds mournful baying
Ancient and chilling,
Fae Folk ride from their sidhe
The Wild Hunt comes,

I am not their prey
But tonight the moon calls
And I will play,
I will tangle the trail
Confounding the red earred hounds
Teasing with a glimpse of my tail
When they falter,
Circling and crisscrossing
Until they are confused
And exhausted,
Splashing down the streams
To lose my scent and backtrack
Taunting them with my laughing bark,
Stay home human,
I play tonight.
© 2020 Maggie Grimes

The Wild Hunt of the Fae Folk is a hunt for unwary humans. I suppose the lucky ones were taken back to the sidhe(although unlucky in that their mundane homes were lost to them). The photo of a fox in Fermoy, Co. Cork inspired my painting and then the fox just had to have her fun. MJG

The Fulmar

Ocean winds blow
Foaming the waters
Lifting wings to hover
Then drop
Skimming the waves
Or diving into darkness
Seeking bounty,

Flesh and feather,
Earth born
But creature of sea and air.

© 2020 Maggie Grimes

The northern fulmar is a seabird seen throughout coastal Ireland. It nests among cliffs in summer but winters at sea. It is a relative of the albatross. My painting is inspired by a photo taken by Liam McNamara of “Ireland From My Lens Photography”. 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

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.

Granuaile

Breathe, the sea rich air inhaling
Life filling lungs
And heart and soul

Sail, the sea billows surging
Energy lifting prow
And heart and soul

Explore, the sea reaches calling
Unknowns enticing thought
And heart and soul

Listen, the sea dreams singing
Music firing mind
And heart and soul

Brave, the sea tempests taunting
Courage driving endeavors
And heart and soul

Seek, the sea realms freeing
Hope stirring resolve
And heart and soul.

© 2020 Maggie Grimes

Grace O’Malley was a daughter of mac Lir. Although a woman of the sixteenth century, her life seems more fitting for a warrior queen of the ancient Celts. She went to sea as a child, learning the skills of sailing, battle, and command. She faced Elizabeth I as an equal and won her respect. Grace O’Malley was a sea called and sea molded pirate queen. 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

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