Chrysalis

The space too small
Cramped
Struggling for growth
Life,
It rips
The pain rends
But cannot stop
The push for freedom,
It fights through a tiny opening
Too small
But a hope for escape,
Exhaustion trembles the body
It must continue
Freedom,
Weak
It clings to the security of the past
The terrors of the unknown beckon
Tease
Entice
Terrify,
Iridescent wings catch the sun
It leaps
A shriveled husk remains.

© 2019 Maggie Grimes

Whether or not ancient Celts believed that butterflies were souls of the dead seeking the Otherworld can be debated. Regardless, they had to have seen the lowly, earthbound caterpillar, through pain and struggle, transform into the graceful, skybound butterfly. They must have marveled. MJG

Manannan’s Daughter –Cantos six

I remember, or perhaps I dreamed, another time. It was a long ago time. Much is hidden in the mists of the past but moments stand out as in sunlight. The first memory is actually the last memory of she I might have been.

There was a battle and I fought crippled, being alone. My shieldmate was gone, he who guarded my back as I his. Being alone and knowing my fate, I had chosen the site of this battle carefully. The oak tree was ancient when I was born. It watched me grow, speaking to me in the whispering wind. I did not feel alone with it behind me.

They came laughing, seeing easy prey. My sword drank hearts’ blood twice and my shield crushed an unwary throat before they learned caution. They were angry at my impudence, shouting at me, rattling their swords. I laughed at them and they grew angrier. They charged. I danced amid the gnarled roots, dealing death. Time and time they came and could not take me. The roots grew slippery with their blood and mine. The ground beneath was darkened with it.

Time stopped as we fought. I know not how long we battled so. It was sunset when I next held thought, the sun’s gleaming, gold beneath the storm dark clouds. My arms burned and my legs trembled. My lungs labored with each breath. Everything was still. I looked at my enemy and ‘though the bodies were many, more still stood watching me. One stepped ahead of the others. Bigger, stronger, he was their champion held in reserve. The others fell back. He lifted his sword in salute and nodded his head. His eyes were kind.

I straightened and looked around me. The wind was cool against my face, sweet in my laboring lungs. The colors of the trees and fields glowed in sunset splendour. The air sparkled with amazing clarity.

I turned to the champion waiting still, patient. My fatigue, pain were gone, replaced by fierce defience. I raised my sword, delighting in the sunlight that jeweled its bloody length. I looked at the champion and my vision grew red. I screamed as the bann sidhe screams. I know no more. Perhaps my heart burst or his sword found it. I know not, for only darkness echoes.

These are my first memories, dreams of the distant time. There are others that came later as I remembered the sword. It was his sword. The coming of my shieldmate to be and the gifting of his sword are other dreams, memories to be recalled some other time. Some I might share but others, others well, we shall see.

©2019 Maggie Grimes

“Manannan’s Daughter” begins in prehistoric Ireland with the selkie’s tale and continues now with ancient tales of Irish heroes. MJG

Dragon Eyes

Dragon eyes can never lie
Truth waits
In swirling opalescence
Enticing the unwary,

Dragon eyes can never lie
Promises tangled
In jeweled gossamer
Tempting the foolhardy,

Dragon eyes can never lie
Hope igniting
In ethereal gems
Daring the brave.

© 2019 Maggie Grimes

You wouldn’t believe how hard it is to get a dragon to sit still for a portrait. MJG

The Dragon Rises

The dragon rises
Broken winged
And tattered
The mirrored scales
Tarnished
Dull are her
Jeweled eyes,

The dragon rises
Flame spent
And guttered
The proud crest
Ragged
Mute is her
Dulcet voice,

The dragon rises
Proud hearted
And undaunted
Her unconquered spirit
Free
Untamed is her
Wild soul,

The dragon rises.

© 2019 Maggie Grimes

Bard

The Old One wakes music stirring
His notes beckon to others reaching
Timeless youth his age masking,
The Old One plays music piping
His cadence speeds to start the dancing
Twining patterns his call heeding,
The Old One sings music soaring
His wild song speaks their hearts arousing
Embracing song shadows voicing,
The Old One frees music swirling
His magic shackled joy releasing
Forsaking time never ceasing,
The Old One wakes.

©2019 Maggie Grimes

What can I say, bards and music and Celtic magic. The photo is of my small bodhran, ancient drum of the Celts. MJG

Wisdom

In bitter sorrow
I walked beside the sea,
Felt the guttural roaring of the waves
Raging against the sand,
Trapped and lost
Feeling squandered in futility
Tattered sea foam blowing on the shore,
Dry and dying it sinks into the sand
Deep it reaches to find its level
Then in finding is drawn back,
Back to become part of the sea,
In awe of the sea foam’s wisdom
I felt laughter bubbling in my throat
And I, too, turned again home.

© 2019 Maggie Grimes

This, I think, is my Celtic nature. I may lose some battles and that hurts. But then I remember that I am still here and there is still joy. That’s the greater victory. MJG

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