Tinne / The Ingot

by Jenne Micale

Photo of Jenne Micale

Jenne Micale

Tinne, whose name means "ingot," is all about technical skill and mastery; it invokes Brighid, the smith, in its way. Its initial line is a quote commonly attributed to the Anglo-Irish poet William Butler Yeats.

In dreams begin responsibilities,
the poet hammers, the blows echoing
through the damp halls of a benighted past.

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Poetry: Leborcham Lies to Conchobar

Leborcham Lies to Conchobar

by Jenne Micale

Cracks in the mud - geograph.org.uk - 1271501

"Cracks in the Mud" - Ian Paterson [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Her face -- a riverbed
in high summer, webbed with
grief that cracks as mudflats,
and cattails of hair hang

ragged and gold, yet shot
with tarnish. Skin is bark
sloughing on the hard ground
strained by a drought of joy.

The very image of
the Cailleach, blight's white crone --
spring's bud blasted by
the hard wind of regret!

Leave her to her bleak home
in the leaf litter, man --
a warrior should have
a beauty like sunrise.

Such I tell you, old friend.
with my Druid tongue, I give
the unaccustomed lie
to king stag in his hall.

And why? For the twigs in
my crane bag have always
their alphabet of
truth, although twisted, bent

as winter's brow, as my
own hag hand. But here -- here
is what I do not say,
what I deny you, king:

That love's laughter lights her
hair, her green eye, her bird
of a soul -- firing her
brand, a star in the dark

as his arms, circling, sweep
her from the grass's green bond --
a whirl of air and sun,
desire, dream and sunrise.

No hardship can chip it --
no grief can cage a soul
fledged to freedom in the
blue with its mate soaring.

But see -- the words I twist
do not lie so much, king.
They are but a vision
if she had stayed with you.


Originally published in Keltria: Journal of Druidism and Celtic Magick


Cover of Keltria: Journal of Druidism and Celtic Magick -- Issue #42

Keltria: Journal of Druidism and Celtic Magick -- Issue #43

Keltria: Journal of Druidism and Celtic Magick, Issue #43 -- The Heroes Issue. Is available in its entirety from MagCloud.

Music by Kwannon
(Jenne Micale)

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Poem: Summer’s End

Summer’s End

by Jenne Micale


Photo of Jenne Micale

Jenne Micale

The cold wind comes, embracing.
The lover of frost

the harbinger of fall.
It hides beneath the old green leaves
waiting.
Skin prickles at its embrace
as the poplars shed their rags.
Herald of the yellow light,
the sun waning -- like the moon
with the creak of wagon wheels
headed down the rutted road
westering as it melds
with the blue horizon

[amazon_enhanced asin="190571324X" /]  features an essay by Jenne Micale

Harvest Song

Harvest Song

by Jenne Micale

Come, the harvest – with its gold
braceleting the furrow.
The dowry of mankind,
warding off the winter

that lurks unseen, a ghost
from a nervous child's dream.
The gold mother comforts us
with circling arms of grain.  

Come, the harvest – the neighbors
call, the bridles jangle,
cart wheels creak – hands that share
work share the stuff of life.  

For what is bounty unshared?
It would rot in the fields
without the fellowship
that waters it, kin to rain  

and sun. Come the harvest,
with its sweat and its song,
with dollies and dances,
our arms lifting up bales –  

hearts forgetting grievance,
forgiving our failures.
The sweat purifies us.
The wagon brings us home.

The Bard’s Path: Storm

Storm

by C. L. McGinley

Let me be the compass
With which to chart your journey
Through the darkness of this night;
Without the shining stars to guide you,
Set your course by me.

Let me be the beacon
That helps you navigate the storm.
Where the horizon glimmers hope,
Winds of change lose the power
To blow you from your heading.

Let me be the hand that lifts you
From the depths of your despair,
From the surging sea that threatens
To engulf you in cold and fear.
I do not hope to save you from the torrent,
Only to buoy you from the swell of this tsunami
To the blessed relief of smoother seas.

Song to the Young Son

Song to the Young Son

By Jenne Micale

Aonghus of the hidden birth
Aonghus of the flowering tree
Aonghus of the lovers doomed
to meet in the darkness secretly

Aonghus of the rising sap
Aonghus of the green of May
Aonghus of the soaring swan
and the sound of sparrows at the break of day

Aonghus of the land of dreams
Aonghus of the poet’s art
Aonghus of the searching eye
and the trickster’s promise that ensnares the heart

Aonghus of the honeyed wine
Aonghus of the fiery will
Aonghus of the secret sweet
that for nine months makes a single day stand still

Aonghus of the land of youth
Aonghus of the gentle friend
Aonghus with his unseen cloak
and the heat of the summer that never ends

Aonghus of the flowering tree
Aonghus of the green of May
Aonghus of the lovers’ dance
and the sound of sparrows at the break of day

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Paradox

By Jenne Micale

Photo of Jenne Micale

Jenne Micale

Look: the weathered wood of the barque rides the leaf-green sea.
Look again: the white foam streams in the wind, mane of mares.
A chariot skims the grass-heads.
Birds fly silver-scaled.

Another mystery of the road poured out from a bag of crane skin.

Speak false, and cracks splinter the cup, the mead splashing out.
Speak true, and wounds heal in metal and flesh, silver bells sound on the branch, bringing laughter, sleep, surcease from pain.

Another mystery of the cloak he shakes between us and other.

With meadow grass, we pay the rent to Fand's beloved.
Yellow blossoms, a cask of ale where the foam touches the sandy shore, echoing cliffs or the fall of mist.

Another mystery of the gray at the joining of dusk and day.

Son of Lir, all land is your fabled isle, all seas your sea, the changing of light in the depths.
All is mystery.
Look and look again: flowers, fish, grass
What is and is not.

A prayer for the hours before dawn

by Jenne Micale

Jenne Micale

In the moon just past fullness, a crescent pared from its belly, remember you are blessed.

In the white of night when none sleep, remember you are blessed.

When the owls call out the small creatures, driven by fear from the leaves, remember you are blessed.

When the veil wreathes the pockmarked face in a pale halo, remember you are blessed.

When the coyotes keen on the ridge and the hounds reply, remember you are blessed.

When the deer amble in their feast and hunger, remember you are blessed.

When marshlights dance at the crossroads, remember you are blessed.

When Midhir measures time in his pale hand and age beckons in the black curve of space, remember you are blessed.

When the stars are lost in dawn’s haze, remember you are blessed.

Waning moon, void of course

By Jenne Micale

bones crack as winter rides the body
she rides the weak steed
into the white road

sap cracks and sputters
in the white fire of the cold
without spark, without light

and in the east, a wan sun
gingerly steps over
the mountains' sharp edges

the razor way, they call it
the warrior's path with
the bright god vaulting the bridge

and landing in its center --
the balance that tips the knife
and wrests secrets from the dark

but you are no warrior
and you know it
and burrow deep in the white

waning moon, void of course
houseless in the Cailleach's cold
as she carries mountains in her skirts