Come Imbolc / we’ve left the gate on the latch / waiting
Come Imbolc / turn us over and all else / out We’ve left out straw to ignite ashes into action Into obliteration / cleanse this dust / this despair
Come Imbolc / empty us / our bellies lie open Eager to be burped / belched / unburdened We have eaten our own fears and grown fat
Come Imbolc / there’s an empty bed / for later / after And the gate is off the latch / has long been off while we waited and the door has long creaked of welcome
Winter stayed too long / we grew weak / under its weight Under all this waiting / swallowed all we did not want to see
Come Imbolc, carve the fear from the tissue we’ve choked on That festered in these bellies / come bring it out / unbirth it
Tomorrow we will light a candle / burn the memory and the ash / the ash will turn to notes as we sing of your return.
Imbolc is the festival celebrating the beginning of Spring and I wrote this poem based on a Poetry Prompt from Catherine Ann Cullen, poet in Residence at Poetry Ireland via Twitter on St. Brigid’s Day which was the 1st February 2021
I read this poem on last weekend’s episode of Eat the Storms, the Poetry Podcast…
Winter has grey wings, feathers of sodden soot that come from concrete clouds too dense to discern any light beyond. Winter spawns grey wings but spring is an architect of possibility by a canal of colour that sweeps in after the fright of the frost and baths us in a blithe breath that blows across a chest once in chains.
Round the red bricked bridge we ride, each pedal pushing past the storms that rained rivers through our winters. Follow the river, she sings, seasons are short but the earth is a sphere turning towards the light, dark doors open often into hopeful, the river recalls its route regardless of the water, blue can be a bright beacon to bathe in, black is only shadow before it finds a reason to ignite in light, bark is dry but the branch bares blossom.
We can be the water or the bridge, the natural path or the paved plot, the route is bright beyond the chains, the greyest night is but a sleep behind the colours waiting beyond the bend.