Song of Eriu

Oh my children,
My heart sings for you
A whispered melody
In sleep wrapped memories
Distant and dim
To warm your nights,
Calling you home,

My sons and daughters
I lost you
To famine and fear
Daring and hope,
My lost children
Wandering
Never forgotten,

Oh my children,
Strength of my strength
Dream of my dreams
Undaunted and unbroken
I call to you
Hope sustaining
Until our hearts mend.

©2019 Maggie Grimes

Eriu was a goddess of ancient Ireland, whose name gave rise to Ireland’s name of Eire. I thought I would answer her call home this year but it won’t happen now. Maybe next year. My painting is of Fanad Head Lighthouse in County Donegal. It has guided many a wanderer home. MJG

Aonbarr

Winds rise,
A lover’s caress
To passion turning

Waves break,
Tranquil seas heave
Mirrored surface breaking

Mysteries stir,
New morn fresh
Thoughts ancient waking

Thunder roars,
Full moon gleams
The storm breaking

Sea births,
Moon and storm created
Manannan’s mount rising.

© 2020 Maggie Grimes

Of the many magical objects and creatures associated with the Irish sea god Manannan Mac Lir, Aonbarr has to be my favorite. A different kind of sea horse, Aonbarr raced across cresting waves as though they were the smoothest pasture. The ocean and horses, two of my passions. It’s been too long since I could travel to the sea. At least my horse is in the pasture behind the house. 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

Tom Crean

Tom Crean,
I’ve read of him
Born a Kerry man, a farmer’s son
He ran away to the sea
Not quite seventeen but tall,
Nigh three decades service to the Royal Navy giving,

Tom Crean,
Three times he dared Antarctic ice,
Once dancing across broken floes, he saved the stranded men,
Another time he trudged eighteen lonely hours to save a fallen friend,
He was one of the six, fighting tossing seas and ice
And still faced the endless trek for the castaways,

Tom Crean,
Always ready to laugh or sing
Teaching his fellows, leading,
A strong man, tireless
A pipe clasped in his teeth
Lips eager to smile,

Tom Crean,
I marvel at his dauntless courage, unfailing cheer
Did he dream green fields and sweet breezes
To keep back the crushing darkness?
How did he keep on going
Fighting the tiller, singing?

Tom Crean,
I’ve read of him.

© 2020 Maggie Grimes

Tom Crean has been a hero of mine for years, an Irishman in the British Navy. He went to Antarctica, twice with Scott and later with Shackleton in the push to reach the South Pole. In each effort, Crean was noted for his indefatigable strength and good humor, willing to risk himself to save others. Times like these, his spirit lives in the heroes fighting covid-19. 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

Darkness Into Light

It is dark
In the beginning,
The stars
Distant and cold,
The wind chilling
What warmth survived,
Sheep and shepherds
Huddle for warmth
Dreaming sunshine and spring,

Imperceptibly the darkness
Brightens to blinding light,
A whisper grows
To living thunder,
“Fear not
I bring joyful tidings,
A Savior is born
To God’s glory
And peace for earth,”

Eternal gift of Hope
Light unconquerable,
He is born.
© 2019 Maggie Grimes

May the hope and joy
of Christmas and a
Blessed New Year
be yours.

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