Writing Brigit


Writing Brigit

Many years ago I wrote my first Brigit prayer. Poem. Blessing... I have been writing them ever since, but seldom publish them. Some are carefully researched and crafted, some are simple and straight from the heart.

The prayers and blessings of my sisters in the Daughters of the Flame and other Brigit-loving women and men, living and long-dead, fill me with surprise and delight, as well.

I would like to share some of these writings with you.

Following is the one that signs off each of my emails, a reminder to guide my words and intentions with care when I write to anyone. It's as good a place to start as any.


Flame Offering

In the name of the three Brigits

I light the candle of my heart

May I offer it to everyone

gentle and steady

warm and bright



03 March 2021

"The Well" by Mael Brigde

 

The Well

 

on its surface

skims her reflected face

(no other mirror desired)

 

no more the red blush

of well-washed severed heads

 

by the healing waters

madness dampened

illness quenched

good winds called

drive fish and fishermen to meet

 

she drinks the dear water

cleans   protects   tends

her whole life through

the holy well







Image: "Glastonbury Well." Photo by Rachael Henning on Unsplash.

19 February 2021

"Brigid at Avalon" by Hayley Arrington

Brigid at Avalon, a poem

by Hayley Arrington


She prayed to the Magdalene

At her Chapel near the Tor.

Bright Woman of no sin,

What is it you pray for?


Do you pray for the summer sun

To never dim or fade?

Do you pray for the faerie folk

Who run in the magic glade?


Goddess, Woman, Saint

Bright Woman of flame and well

Stir you cauldron, weave you spell


You were born on a threshold,

Neither in nor out.

You dried your cloak on a sunbeam.

You sang to the little trout.


You heal the ill,

Restore the blind’s sight,

Come to me at Brigid’s Hill.

Come, Goddess of the light.


Goddess, Woman, Saint

Bright Woman of flame and well

Stir you cauldron, weave you spell




Image: Saint Brigit milking her cow, Glastonbury. Uncredited.

04 February 2021

Three Poems for Brigid - Doireann Ní Ghríofa, Paula Meehan, & Nidhi Zak/Aria Eipe moli.ie/digital/three-poems-for-brigid/

  These three poems are not published on this blog, but linked to the original site and to their videos on YouTube. From the Museum of Literature Ireland:

To celebrate St Brigid’s Day 2021, MoLI and the Department of Foreign Affairs, have collaborated on ‘Three Poems for Brigid’, a series of three short online films. Each film showcases a poet and a spoken word performer, and is based around one of the three aspects of Brigid as the triple goddess of poetry, healing, and craftwork.

The poems were commissioned from three of Ireland’s finest female poets, spanning the creative generations: Doireann Ní Ghríofa, Paula Meehan and Nidhi Zak/Aria Eipe. Artists performing the works include Osaro Azams, Ruth McCabe and Caitríona Ennis, with music by Syn, Dowry, and Dreamcycles.

Through the poem and accompanying imagery, each film explores the theme as it relates to Irish women from past to present. The films aim to reach the widest audience possible, both local and international, and to engage Irish people around the world with living female Irish writers, performers and the feminine continuum that stretches through our history, is alive in our society, and is exemplified through both the Pagan and Christian symbolism of Brigid.

 At Bridget’s Well

Poem by Doireann Ní Ghríofa
Performance by Osaro Azams

Music by Syn

Old Biddy Talk
Poem by Paula Meehan
Performed by Ruth McCabe
Music by Dowry

i mbolc
Poem by Nidhi Zak/Aria Eipe
Performed by Caitríona Ennis
Music by Dreamcycles






ImageSaint Brigit statue, from MoLI site.

31 January 2021

“Meeting Bríd By Water” by Geraldine Moorkens Byrne


Meeting Bríd By Water

I looked across

and saw

a ribbon of silvered light

and the first

faint

blush of rose dawn.

This was Imbolc, the calling of Bríd

and She entered

on a pathway of sparkling

light.

I looked across

and my heart rejoiced

at the soft tread of her

across water.

 

Geraldine Moorkens Byrne

 


 Note: “Meeting Bríd By Water” is available with many other wondrous poems by Geraldine in her single author anthology, Dreams of Reality: a collection of poetry (e-book).

Image: "Berkshire, UK" by Paul Macallan on Unsplash

30 January 2021

“Brigit Wakens” by Mael Brigde

 

Brigit Wakens

 

frost clutches the thorn

wrens huddle   feathers puffed

deer   stiff with cold

nip tips of willow twigs

 

Brigit wakens

kicks her feathered blanket from her legs

descends from her bed to the frozen lake

 

a touch of her palm

tames the water’s tension

fingers melt its rigid plane

stir the cold broth mildly   back and forth

 

sleepy trout rise stipple-sided

from the muddy bed in sloth

spring smooths winter’s transfixed edges

urges green and busy life

upon the land

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image: "Vartry Lake, Roundwood, Co Wicklow, Ireland," by Paddy O Sullivan on Unsplash

24 January 2021

"An Offer to Brigid: for Imbolg" by Madelyn Burnhope

 


An Offer to Brigid: for Imbolg

Goddess of this festival,

for whom a constant flame is tended,

daughter of the Dagda, seen aslant

by the Morrigan in the pocked

copper of His cauldron,

we need a word about

what’s meant by ‘birth.’

We have been reborn so many times,

laboured through so many phases,

and still this void, inside whose hearth

flames crackle, spit and hiss,

inviting family only so close.

Felt dandelions bud inside us, but none

has grown. How to navigate this?

What is meant by terms such as ‘to term’

and who may use them? Is it the compass

and radar of the seed which carries it

or the power of the wind around her?

Is it the meat-hands of Market Street

which bring children streaming into Spring

or the long light-gone gestation of Winter?

If you would turn your face

from the table, anvil, furnace, all

the various tools you’re forging –

blowing, bending, sending sparks

up into the workshop air –

and answer us, we would prepare

offerings from the bellies of our pantries:

honey, herbs, corn bread, dollies.

We have carried and come to terms.

Your misty-eyed, mystified daughters,

some of us misidentified as sons.

Name the way you wish us

in our barrenness to engage with you,

knowing not just any medium will do.

In the name of circling pool and flame,

and the bright bodies who birthed you.

 



 

Note: Madelyn Burnhope is devoted to Brigid, as well as the Dagda and the Morrigan, who revealed herself to her as Brigid’s mother, a UPG (unverified personal gnosis) referenced in this poem.

 

Image: Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe on Unsplash

16 January 2021

“Why I Tend Your Flame” by Mael Brigde


Why I Tend Your Flame

 

why return always

to this endless ritual

of nineteen days plus one

 

(on the twentieth day of the cycle

when each sister has had her turn

you keep your flame alive

 

(in the evening of the following day

you offer me the glowing coal

to kindle

my own small fire)

 

I am so forgetful

I strike the match

and before the wick is blackened

I am a thousand miles away

planning   worrying   angry   wishful

hurrying to accomplish this and that

 

if I am so very forgetful

why return

 

in that moment

when I take a breath

place the candle in its lantern

lantern in its cauldron

pour water clean and fresh

around its base

when I add the blue juniper

whisper words of honouring

of sharing   and of blessing

of request

when I open my hands to receive

your eye-bright coal

my heart opens with them

I glimpse this wider land

this wider life

come closer

for one fraction of a second

awake

 

this is your gift to me

 

mine to you

is to return

again and again

to this moment of ignition

in my soul

 

 


 

 Image: "Flametending candle" by Mael Brigde