Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Lament of the Winter Witch


Keening Woman walks the winter-wilding shore,
waves galloping in like white-maned horses,
the sound and fury of their breaking
in her aged ears, a roar.

She cannot find the well of youth;
to seek it, she would feel a fool.
From beauty to hag in a single season,
would be surpassing cruel.

Instead, she dreams: Let me change into a river,
wild and rushing towards the sea. My
many-headed children
have over-wearied me.

Let me find the snowy fields 
where bears and wolves and
sweet quick foxes play.
I will watch them until my eyes close
at sunset on the very last day.

This world is so beautiful; it should have
brought us joy, if humankind was not so skilled
at seeking to destroy

the earth that is our home. I'm filled
with gratitude and sorrow,
and all my fading hopes
are for a wiser world tomorrow.

for Brendan at earthweal: The Cailleach Bheare, Witch of Winter


  1. Love that one dreams of becoming a river rushing towards the sea... beautiful.

  2. The Cailleach lives in borderlands more wild than settled, has more to do with the animal kingdom than the human and is young in nature's eyes ... This empathetic reach into Her domain lends us all antlers to wear as a way to go. Lovely.

  3. This rolls like the horse-waves in the opening stanza and whilst it is a lament, it is one that comes from love and gratitude, making it all the more a true keening.

  4. To change into a river...to become one with the sea. The origin. To complete the circle, let the water heal. (K)

  5. You have a sharp eye for the beauty of the world. Dreaming of becoming river is profound. I see a lot in those flowing waters.


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