Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

Friday’s Poetry for Brighid

While I am away, I am sharing some of the poetry for Brighid that was posted this week in Her honor. Drink deep from this beauty and fill the wells of your inspiration.

THE CAVE PAINTERS
by Eamon Grennan

Holding only a handful of rushlight
they pressed deeper into the dark, at a crouch

until the great rock chamber

flowered around them and they stood

in an enormous womb of

flickering light and darklight, a place

to make a start. Raised hands cast flapping shadows

over the sleeker shapes of radiance.

They’ve left the world of weather and panic
behind them and gone on in, drawing the dark

in their wake, pushing as one pulse

to the core of stone. The pigments mixed in big shells

are crushed ore, petals and pollens, berries

and the binding juices oozed

out of chosen barks. The beasts

begin to take shape from hands and feather-tufts
(soaked in ochre, manganese, madder, mallow white)

stroking the live rock, letting slopes and contours

mould those forms from chance, coaxing

rigid dips and folds and bulges

to lend themselves to necks, bellies, swelling haunches,

a forehead or a twist of horn, tails and manes

curling to a crazy gallop.

Intent and human, they attach
the mineral, vegetable, animal

realms to themselves, inscribing

the one unbroken line

everything depends on, from that

impenetrable centre

to the outer intangibles of light and air, even

the speed of the horse, the bison’s fear, the arc

of gentleness that this big-bellied cow

arches over its spindling calf, or the lancing

dance of death that

bristles out of the buck’s

struck flank. On this one line they leave

a beak-headed human figure of sticks

and one small, chalky, human hand.

We’ll never know if they worked in silence
like people praying—the way our monks

illuminated their own dark ages

in cross-hatched rocky cloisters,

where they contrived a binding

labyrinth of lit affinities

to spell out in nature’s lace and fable

their mindful, blinding sixth sense

of a god of shadows—or whether (like birds

tracing their great bloodlines over the globe)

they kept a constant gossip up

of praise, encouragement, complaint.

It doesn’t matter: we know
they went with guttering rushlight

into the dark; came to terms

with the given world; must have had

—as their hands moved steadily

by spiderlight—one desire

we’d recognise: they would—before going on

beyond this border zone, this nowhere

that is now here—leave something

upright and bright behind them in the dark.

From the most magical Marya’s Blog, as her contribution to the annual Brigid in the Blogosphere Poetry Slam.

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  • February 6, 2009, 4:46 pm Hecate

    Wow, lovely. Thank you.

  • February 7, 2009, 10:08 am Marya

    Thanks so much for giving more people a chance to read this magnificent poem. I live in an area rich in ancient Khoisan rock art and it is such a source of inspiration.

    Marya