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

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

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

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

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

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

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