This wasn’t meant to be a blog of poetry. I started this to push myself to put into words, and maybe even share, some of my experiences as a Gaelic polytheist. But poems are easier than prose, so far.
Why do this? Because I don’t find my experience well represented by what I see out in the blogosphere and maybe someone might find a little inspiration here. Because I might just manage to clarify my thoughts by writing them in words meant to be seen, or even, if I’m lucky, through conversation.
We’ll see. I’m a devotional Gaelic polytheist. I work with spirits, mainly of the daoine sith, but nature spirits and ancestors as well. I don’t count myself a spirit worker or priest because I’m solitary with no community to work for. My poetry is mainly devotional work for my gods and my companions.
Hopefully this won’t be the only reflection that’s ever posted, but if nothing else, the poems are out here where they might be found.
To dance with Lugh, you dance the coming storm:
The shivering wind, the rain that steals your breath,
Blinded by light, you allemande with death
In joy, whirling your way to be reborn.
His spear strikes home. An ecstasy of pain
Places fire in your heart that spreads to every limb,
Your tongue unhinged to sing the lightning’s hymn
Elided by memory, but scribed in you like your name.
He changes that, too, as he lifts your broken heart
From the cage of your chest to crack it on the stones,
Breathes on it instead, and when it begins to beat alone
Returns it to you. He is the master of every art.
This storm can hold your heart in its tender hand
Or call the dance at the limit of your command.
Fires and cats are hard to tame, and yet
We cannot help but love their easy grace.
We see their beauty but, enchanted by that face,
Forget the pain they give. We make them pets
Then wonder why we burn or why we bleed.
Cats and flames remember what they are–
The efficient killer, the heart of every star–
But let us forget, even deign to fill our needs.
Did we but know ourselves as they must know
The way to make each movement art,
We would see the world in all its parts
Is perfect as it stands, and we could grow.
Because we will not know ourselves, we burn,
And bleed, and cry to know what we refuse to learn.
To know Manannán, you must know the sea:
The mist that rises from the waves’ caress,
The bounding rocks, the endless tidal press
That wanes and waxes, curling in the lee
Of boulders, crushing trees to dust
When they fall into the ocean’s grasp.
Holding a fallen leaf, gently clasped
To bear it shoreward. To know the sea you must
Throw wide your heart to darkness deep beneath
The sparkling crest, to light that burns the eye,
To deafening waves, and you must not deny
The dolphin’s play or the storm’s devouring teeth.
If you would know Manánnan’s secret ways
Then know he changes, and always remains.
One for the Yew whose poison heart
Can heal or swiftly kill
Two for the Oak whose acorned branch
Can catch the lightning still
Three for the Apple, gate of worlds,
Who sings with a voice of gold
Three to ring the silver well
And the flame that never grows cold.