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

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
 

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

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.

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.

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