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Dear little birdeens of my heart, go to sleep in the thorn tree,
Nor loss nor danger to you tonight the yellow cat nor her kittens,
Nor danger from the water sprite who lurks by the fairy fort,
Nor from the voracious otter on the strand below.


Sleep, little birdeens, little thrushes, little blackbirds,
Sleep little birdeens in the hedge outside in peace,
Sleep, little birdeens, little thrushes, little blackbirds,
So sleep, sleep until it is day.

Dear little birdeens of my heart, go to sleep in the thorn tree,
No danger to you the people who are sleeping softly.
Nor any danger from evil spells while I am beside you.
So sleep, sleep until it is day.

ÉINÍNÍ is a beautiful lullaby from An Rinn (Ring), the small Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking district) near Dungarvan, County Waterford, Ireland. It is also an enchanting celebration of those little birds whose presence and singing lightens every heart…

Éiníní, a chroí ‘stigh, codlaígí fén droighneach,
Ní baol díbh aon díth ‘nocht, an cat buí ná a hál.
Ní baol ná an síofra cois leasa na luí dhó,
Ná an dobharchú thá cíocrach thíos ar an dtráigh.

Curfá / chorus

Codlaígí, éiníní, smóilíní, céirsíní,
Codlaígí éiníní sa chlaí ‘muigh go sámh,
Codlaígí éiníní, smóilíní, druidíní,
Codlaígí dá bhrí sin, codlaígí go lá.

Éiníní a chroí stigh, codlaígí fén droighneach,
Ní baol daoibh na daoine thá ‘na gcodladh go sámh.
Ní baol ná aon draoireacht agus mise bhur gcoimhdeacht.
Codlaígí dá bhrí sin, codlaígí go sámh.

Curfá / chorus

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I tell to you, a special festival,
The glorious dues of May-day:
Ale, worts, sweet whey,
And fresh curds to the fire.

Lammas-day, make known its dues,
In each distant year:
Tasting every famous fruit,
Food of herbs on Lammas-day.

Meat, ale, nut-mast, tripe,
These are the dues of summer’s end;
A bonfire on a hill pleasantly,
Buttermilk, a roll of fresh butter.

Tasting every food in order,
This is what behoves at Candlemass,
Washing of hand and foot and head,
It is thus I say.

Quatrains on Beltaine, &c.
Author: Kuno Meyer
An electronic edition

What is probably meant by “every food in order” is that the fresh food was getting scarce, so eat whatever was on hand!

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toward Dublin

for Lebor na hUidre!


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Awake, awake, you ancient watchers
Awake awake and let me in
Come down come down, from your waiting houses
Come down come down and let me in
~Sharon Knight

Here, at the end of all things,

let me start at the beginning and introduce myself.  I am a native Texan, living in Ireland.  My sense of Place is intricately and intimately tied with the land  which is now known as south and central Texas.  I was born on the coastal plain, a land that stretches wide, with clear vistas from horizon to horizon: fertile and verdant.  Where big winds blow and the sky is a yawning expanse. Adopted at birth into a farming family, my youth was spent in isolation with nature.  My nearest human neighbors were over a mile away, and I was the only child of an only child.  I spent my days alone and barefoot, roaming creek bed, plowed field,   empty barn, and lonely byway. My grandparents passed to me their wisdom: planting and harvesting by the moon and signs, cures, folk knowledge, and  ancestral  stories.  Descendants of Welsh and ScotsIrish emigrants, they adhered to a system older than the society that swallowed them.  I was fortunate to have been cocooned in their land of enchantment – 250 acres, and then some, to roam and explore – unfettered – nurtured by the accumulated lore of generation upon generation….of  human and other-than-human persons. Love to you – always ❤

My blood seeks movement,

and I traversed the greet North American lands as a young adult, living and breathing in many regions.  My heart pulled me toward mountain, desert, forest.  I tasted and loved them all.  As these things go, eventually the blood pulled wide – to Far lands across an ocean …..and some of them I have kissed.  My bed is now in Eire, but how long She has me….only Fate knows. Deep in The Avondhu of east Cork, which escaped glaciation, my eyes seek and my ears are open.  Surrounded by new voices, new ways….. I follow my mesolithic ancestresses blood.

I  have always been pagan…… my grandmother infused my praxis as a witch….and my blood drives me back  – into a misty past, where we were all once truly Human.

To Mabon and Gene;
Katie and Thomas;
Chilton and Love-Ann

…Victor, Cora, Gwydion:

None are forgotten
nothing fades forever
all that has past comes around again

For here, what is Remembered Lives
What Is Remembered Lives

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Anne Stahl

The landscape and mystery of the bogs feature prominently in Irish myth and folklore.  The archaeological record speaks of votive offerings and buried bodies,  laid to rest deep beneath their murky, otherworldly waters.  As I drove to the conference on Friday I passed through bogs in Offaly and Roscommon.  Desolate, windy places; they practically howl a primal language.

Quagmire, swampland, morass:
the slime kingdoms,
domains of the cold-blooded,
of mud pads and dirtied eggs.
But bog
meaning soft,
the fall of windless rain,
pupil of amber. (Heaney, 1975)

Irish poet Seamus Heaney writes a lot about bogs.  He has referred to the bog as a sort of Jungian, as well as geological, memory-bank, a “dark casket where we have found many of the clues to our past and to our cultural identity” (Broadbridge, 1977: 40). He sees the bog as a symbol of the Irish psyche, as contrasted to the American psyche which, in its pioneering spirit, looks  “outwards and upwards, to fulfilment through movement, advance, exploration and openness” (Corcoran, 1986: 62). The Irish bog is the “answering myth” to the frontier myth of the American consciousness (Heaney, 1980b: 55).

Landscape artist T.P. Flanagan also loved the bogs.  Flanagan romantically described the bog as “the fundamental Irish landscape” which had “primeval connection” with a pagan past. His perceptions were of “the moistness, the softness of the bog, its fecundity, its femininity…” (Parker 1993, 87). Heaney dedicated his first bog poem to his friend and fellow
bog-lover, Flanagan:

For T.P. Flanagan
We have no prairies
To slice a big sun at evening –
Everywhere the eye concedes to
Encroaching horizon,
Is wooed into the cyclops’ eye
Of a tarn. Our unfenced country
Is bog that keeps crusting
Between the sights of the sun.
They’ve taken the skeleton
Of the Great Irish Elk
Out of the peat, set it up
An astounding crate full of air.
Butter sunk under
More than a hundred years
Was recovered salty and white.
The ground itself is kind, black butter
Melting and opening underfoot,
Missing its last definition
By millions of years.
They’ll never dig coal here,
Only the waterlogged trunks
Of great firs, soft as pulp.
Our pioneers keep striking
Inwards and downwards,

T.P. Flanagan

Every layer they strip
Seems camped on before.
The bogholes might be Atlantic seepage,
The wet centre is bottomless.
(Heaney, 1969: 55-56)

More than once I imagined myself  – one of the thousands of offerings placed in the bog, with its perfect liminality: neither fully water, nor fully earth – but a transition point, a threshold.  The funny thing is….. I was.  As I drove back home Sunday, on a bleak stretch with rain lashing and wind howling: thump, thump, thump.

A flat tire.

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