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

Tom Crean’s Dance

Tom Crean,
You might have heard of him,
An Irishman in Antarctica
He of unfailing strength and boundless energy,
Lifting spirits with songs and laughter
And he danced,

That time the ice broke
His team trapped,
Dark waters growing
And impatient orcas gliding,
No time for plans
The dance begun,

Tom joined the dance
And leaped the gap
Then spun to catch his balance
Lightly springing up and onward
Dancing to his inner song
Never slacking or losing measure,

Drifting floes the distance widens
Time an ever fickle dancer,
Partners to his dancing
The orcas’ deadly, waltz,
Tom speeds the rhythm
The ice shelf nearing,

A final bound Tom landing safe
Still, his dance not over,
Ahead a frozen cliff to master,
His dance an upward springing,
No time to rest or lose the step
His team still seaward moving,

Finally the crest he makes
And home base Tom is nearing,
The dance speeds up
His strides are long and gliding,
Til haven makes and rescue claims
Tom Crean the dance’s master.

© 2020 Maggie Grimes

Returning from making a supply drop in preparation for Scott’s push to the South Pole, Crean and his team decided to set up camp before making the final leg back to base. The sudden cracking and crash of breaking ice ended their rest. Crean’s daring dance across the ice lead to their rescue. 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.

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

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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