Grannagh Castle

Seems fitting to see it
Standing harsh and bitter
In breath stealing cold,
Is that the wind howling
Or secrets, souls lost
Crying to be found,
Tall castle standing
Once proud, strong
Now falling and breaking with age,
Guarding the river
Flowing through time
Washing memories.

© 2023, Maggie Grimes
In the 12th century, the Normans built Grannagh Castle It occupies the strategic site of the 1st century Celtic fort, Dun Bhrain used to guard the River Suir linking Kilkenny, Dublin, Limerick, and Waterford. In 1375 Grannagh Castle was granted to James Butler, Earl of Osmonde. Legend has it that secret tunnels under the River Suir were where prisoners were condemned and executed. Margaret Ormonde ,the Countess, was said to be a witch who imprisoned her enemies in the tunnels where they were left to die. In 1650 the castle was taken by Cromwell’s forces and partially destroyed. MJG


Old Cailleach’s bite blustery cold,
Her cloak shimmering frosted snow,
A shivering welcome hiding spring
Home warms the soul.
© 2023, Maggie Grimes

The painting is of Brandon Hill, Co Kilkenny. I have to say the cottage is my creation but I wanted a warm haven from the snow and cold of December and January. MJG

Reflections of Danu

Oh the years
Taunting and capricious
As the wind,
I am young
Maid innocent
Beauty fresh,
Years stretching
Endlessly hopeful

Oh the years
Taunting and capricious
As the wind,
Eager wife
A husband joining
Consuming passion births,
Heart, belly, breasts
So full and nurturing
Matronly duties mine,

Oh the years
Taunting and capricious
As the wind,
A crone’s reflection
Haunts me
Gnarled hands wringing,
Squandered now
The maiden’s hope
The matron’s fecund gifts,

Oh the years
Taunting and capricious
As the wind,
Water, soil, air
Souls fouled by greed and malice
Reap a poisoned harvest,
A new day dawns
Its terrible beauty birthing
Storm, disease and fire,

Oh the years
Taunting and capricious
As the wind,
I watched my children
Long these years
Life so full and fleeting,
Roaming, building
Casting aside
To build anew,

Oh the years
Taunting and capricious
As the wind,
A savage maid
Matron, crone
My heart breaks
But hope remains
The future beauty holding.

© 2023 Maggie Grimes

I felt the need to revisit an earlier poem, a restatement of their voices. In ancient times we lived in harmony and balance with the natural world. We respected Nature and our place in it. We have forgotten these truths. MJG


I dreaming saw
The Enchanted Isle
Beneath silver wings,
Dublin glowing in the dawn
Waking to the day
Shivering and eager,

I dreaming heard
Pealing bells
Streets crowding rumble,
Horns and whistles blaring
Bringing hordes
In ordered confusion,

Learned colleges, museums
Cathedrals of renown and graveyard stillness
I saw,
Teeming pubs, boisterous crowds
Songs voiced rowdy, poignant
I heard,

I, Dublin dreamed.

© 2023, Maggie Grimes

Sunrise at Baily Lighthouse, Dublin. MJG


The adventure approaches
Drawing close
Anticipation and chaos
Handfast in preparation
Heart yearning for home
Yet hard to leave
Roots strain across the water
Dreams can alter, grow
And not be lost
Her voices call me

© 2023, Maggie Grimes

The painting was inspired by a photo of Benbulbin by CarverPhotograpy. I look at it and it is easy to think of Ireland. It invites an adventure. MJG

Christmas Journey

In the darkness
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.

© 2022 Maggie Grimes

Christmas Faith

Close your eyes to the night
The year’s past fear daunting
Replaced with hope,
The battle long won
The darkness vanquished
In faithful belief,
The light of Love unfailing,

The star heralds the Babe
Illuminating the night
Shattering the darkness,
Angel choirs exalt
The prophecy fulfilled
Truth made flesh
Love’s light born undying.

© 2022 Maggie Grimes

Christmas Gift

He sleeps, nestled in the sweet hay, wrapped in soft rags. The stable is quiet, warmed by the hushed breathing of cattle, sheep, and donkey. Resting beside the Babe his mother marvels at her miracle. Like a fortress, the strong arms of his father encircle them.

Babe though he is, it seems he smiles in his sleep.

He leaves heaven and its riches behind. He comes to be of earth, to be part of us all. He is with us now and for all time.

© 2022 Maggie Grimes

Nollaig Shona Dhuit

Now and always,
May you have
The Hope that inspires,
Love that warms,
The Peace promised
And the Light that illumines
Through any darkness.

May your Christmas be joyous
and your New Year Blessed!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Marguerite Jane Grimes

The title is Irish for Merry Christmas.(Null-ig hun-ah gwit)


Summer’s pyre
Flaming against a crystal sky
Winds whirling
Feeding, scattering
Dying flames
Of promise,
Cailleach’s cloak
Of brief splendor
Woven from summer’s bounty
Death’s bright herald
To welcome winter’s sleep
By glorious revel.

© 2022, Maggie Grimes

The painting was inspired by a photos of Foley’s Bridge in County Down, Northern Ireland. MJG

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