Dark creature lurks within, blood-thirsting
Warrioress, ancient hunter-farmer clans,
Ocean-crashing rocks, snow-streaked clouds
Descending jagged isthmus, standing naked
And tattooed, bronze-sword wielding, pagan
Soul, observing from behind my eyes,
Nursing mother, stone hearths, grooved
Pottery, fire-glazed, perplexed by who and
What I am, Sister Muriel, Christian faith,
Cross-bearing, dark-robe wearing. Yet, we
Share sincerity of faith, religious rituals,
Neolithic thick-walled stone dwellings,
Secret alcoves, high-arched churches
Gracing Irish landscape.
Through dreams, she time-reaches, name
With no vowels whispered across archaic
Ages, before Egyptian pyramids, tribal
Wanderers, reigning hammered shores
Of Albion lands. “Who are you?” I ask to
My rippled-water reflection. “Brynlyth,”
She replied. “We killed our saviors, too,”
My mystical visage advised. “War captives
We mortally wounded, veil of occult lifted,
Deific voices and visions realized whilst
Blood-dying, breath gasping, sun-rising
Seasons, standing-stone defined, planting,
Harvests, fertility ceremonies, field beasts,
Child-bearing woman-kind alike.
Was Christ’s crucifixion much the same?
I wondered in dismay? “Man god-touched
Cross-nailed, sins forgiven, salvation of
Mortal souls,” Brynlyth countered. “Death
Brutal as stone-ax, skull-crushing human
Sacrifice to dark-forested pagan gods.”
Alas! I argued aloud with past self, my
Faith versus hers, equal devotion and
Constancy colliding over misty Irish
Meres, though secretly I admitted forces
Older than this land exist this day. Alas!
As I walked sea clifftops, from soul-self
Brynlyth separated, returning to ruins
Of winter-desolate slab-stone houses.
If Brynlyth and I are dream islands, do
Wave-rising currents converge on mind-
Guiding streams? For she desires safe
Harbour, my lantern light beaming during
Darkest hours, sharing what we hold sacred:
Oaken glens and glades, flowering sprigs,
Mysteries of wind-moving trees. In faith,
I believe we worship varying faces, forms of
Same god, prayers protecting those we love,
Hearth and home, rosary or amber beads,
Rites, sacraments of flesh and blood, our
Torches raised to starlit skies, worshiping
At equinox sunrise, meaning then and now,
To Brynlyth and to me, Sister Muriel.
Poem reflects ancient Irish customs, two psyches converging, equally
religious, reckoning with differing sides of self. Through dreams and
mutual respect Sister Muriel and Brynlyth reconcile their differences.
For more on Celtic prophetic sacrifice, see BBC video, “The Celts,
Episode 3,” beginning at ~33 minutes:
For more on Sister Muriel as poetic character, see this link.
Thanks for reading.