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

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

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

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

Tir na nOg

I tremble in eagerness
At the crest of the hill,
Above me the searing sky
Pristine and close,
The young wind rushes past me
The world is new
And my soul is fevered to explore it,

I would cast aside
This cumbersome husk,
It fetters and anchors my spirit,
I would burst forth
From the shambles of the past
A phoenix rising
To greet the new found sun,

Something holds me here
Draws me back to the world I know
A quest I’ve yet to complete
For that I know not and yet must seek.

© 2020 Maggie Grimes
Tir na nOg is described as an island paradise. It is a supernatural realm of everlasting youth, beauty and joy, a land of poetry and music. Adventures and trials await any who attempt to earn its shores. In a sense, Ireland is my Tir na nOg. The Cliffs of Moher on Ireland’s western coast seem a place one might go hoping to glimpse Tir na nOg. I tried to capture that feeling in my painting of the Cliffs of Moher. One day I will walk there myself. MJG

Beansidhe

Who is she that mourns?
Some forgotten beansidhe
Lost in time, transformed,
Still mourning
Through ages of bitter wars
And famine
Weary in her grief,
The loving patience
To bear such sorrow.

© 2020 Maggie Grimes

Beansidhe are women of the fae folk. They are mainly remembered now for the association of some with death. A beansidhe would wail in portent of a death in a family or keen in grief afterwards. My painting is inspired by a photo taken by Liam McNamara of “Ireland From My Lens Photography”. 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

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

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