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.

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
A summer born Kerry man, a farmer’s son
He ran away to the sea
Fifteen years old but tall for his age,
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
Fightng 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

The Great Hunt

I would know the Great Hunt
Just once more
Seek mysteries
Ageless power calling,

I would thrill to Hounds’ song
Just once more
Noble prey seeking
Field and forest coursing,

I would chase the Moon Road
Just once more
Seek the moonbeams dancing
Silvered shadows chasing,

I will know the Great Hunt
Just once more
Finding change
Clean, cold wind chilling.

©2019 Maggie Grimes

The ancient celebration of Samhain approaches when the Fae could freely leave their sidhe. If the horns of the Great Hunt sounds, stay home, lock your doors, hide away lest you become their prey. Only a cat would brave the magic with such nonchalance. MJG

Aground

She rests
Amidst the marshy grasses
Dreaming
Days plying the island routes
Wind and wave lifting
Lost in time,

She danced
Sea spray lacing her bow
Sailing
Her paint fresh against the waves
Chasing lightly the seals
Her frothy road guiding,

She felt
Her Master’s hand
Guiding
Firm upon the wheel
His voice next to God
Sending deck hands leaping,

She labors
Fishing or cargo and passengers hauling
Serving
Racing rising storm
To best the wind and drowning waves
For home’s sweet calm,

She rests
Amidst the marshy grasses
Dreaming
Days plying the island routes
Battered but harbor safe
Lost in time.

© 2019 Maggie Grimes

The painting and poem are inspired by a photo taken by Liam McNamara. The poet in me saw no defeat in the boat, battered though she was. I wish I could have done greater justice to his photo. MJG

Tales of Eire

There is a place
Of swirling mists
And sparkling seas
Craggy cliffs overtowering
Pounded by crashing waves
Seals drowsing on the shores
Dreaming stories,

Mystic waves of people
Coming and claiming
‘Til battles’ clangor the peace destroying
Mists reclaiming
Gods of power falling
Fae of sidhe
The Great Hunt riding,

Clans and kingdoms rising
Heroes born, trained to purpose
Fighting exquisite monsters
Braving terrors, following honor
And impossible quests
Gifts of songs and stories
Bequeathing.

©2019 Maggie Grimes

All I’ve read, studied, heard, and dreamed of Ireland only serves to inspire more writing, more painting, more studying. I am well past the naivety of youth to believe that Ireland is perfect but she still entices. MJG

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