Aiteacht* (The poets saw it first)

Hail forever, poets, harpers, artists:
you of privilege who
by your dream-trance visions
have seen and heard
we recognize your right of demand;
sing and bring to us
(mere mortals)
the truths of existence
the extent of extent –
the time of distance,
the space of time.
You alone among us sense
the secrets from beyond
you alone have crossed boundaries
we may not cross.
Bring forth now to us your Death Tale
from the mists of invisibility.
As you have seen it,
so be it.


*meaning “sensation of things being not quite right but not being able to tell why.”

A long overdue poem inspired by a Druid Gaelic Dictionary I found online, prompted by the NaPoWriMo day 17 prompt which suggested creating a poem around words found in a specialized dictionary. Interestingly, there is a druidic term (achar feadha’s feadh achair, which the dictionary explains is “untranslatable”) for what quantum physics now tells us about gravity; that it is not a force of attraction but a curvature in the fabric of space-time.

Seeding the future

1. A warrior’s tale

In Brandywine, Sudduth’s strain were strong
as waves bore Aker’s boats ashore
they met soldier-to-soldier without fear
spears clashing, sparking upon shields
furious breath pluming into morning’s frosted air.

Many sons were lost, but one:
fair Krim stole to Airyleaf’s bower
bewitched by fairy, fed honeysuckle,
giant moonflower and violet;
he returned years hence, the Black Prince of North.

2. The wisdom keeper

I wove flowers and leaves into crowns
(marigold, bellis)
made sweet tea and dried blooms
(borage, hyssop)
for sleep pillows, rituals of the day
(purslane, lovage)
gathered poppy seeds for cakes
(Hungarian blue)

but now I save the seeds for times to come
sowing a few each year, holding their wisdom,
guarding those that remain
for the day when love lies bleeding.


The NaPoWriMo prompt for day 5 was to draw insipiration from the names of heirloom plants. It is of course the perfect time of year for this prompt here in the north – we’ve just been planting many of these seeds at home. 

I also drew inspiration more broadly from La Belle Dame Sans Merci and this story about the Doomsday Seed Vault.

Gaian Lament

She, whose fair praises have been sung
while thoughtless insults blithely flung,
for whom odes proud and gestures grand
in place of care and nurture stand,
not fused or molded by design
yet part of nature’s perfect rhyme –
and we, blind mortals that we are,
pay no heed, but vain, worship stars.

This started as a fan poem but became a bit of a critique-in-rhyme. For day 3 of NaPoWriMo.

The Zodiac Awakes

At daybreak, we rise and shake
the slumber from the storm clouds;
morning overtook the night and now gawks
awkwardly over grey lake, opaque
with mist descended, remaking
starlit scene into sombre smoke-
lined beach, streaked, shroud-like;
the scene soaks in the mystique of this
moment, eking out meaning from
what was just our gods’ talk – gods’ play.
Don’t make the mistake, don’t seek substance
where there exists only the weak ache
of the everyday.


With thanks for the inspiration from today’s prompt at Quickly (and thanks to Jennifer for leading me there).