February 2011

Out walking on a rainy day earlier in the week, the hills were full of the music of water…

Streams rush to the sea.
Loudly practising the song
they’ll sing when they’re there.



Winter is still hanging on, subtly, but the birds know…

Breath smokes the still air.
Daddy-long-leg shadows stretch.
Birds practice for dawn.



Definitely Spring but Winter still not entirely shaken off…

Lá Fhéile Ghobnait

Níl gá do chasóg,
Scáth fada fós ag gach géag.
Sceith fhroig sna línte.

[St. Gobnait’s Day

No need for a coat,
Bare stalks still throw long shadows.
Pools seeded with spawn.]



Imbolg. The ancient festival of Spring. The month-long festival of Brigid, the goddess/saint associated with this time of year. Earth-mother, Patron of Ireland, Goddess of poetry, healing, smithwork and bees. Spring! And it shows, too, immediately. Last weeks cold left overnight, muggy and mild, wild and stormy, bright blades piercing the leaf mould, buds lighting the bare branches, dawn chorus starting up again and a perceptible stretch in the evenings…

Hazel catkins

Suddenly tasselled,
hazels flaunt their new Springwear
at bare oak and ash.


Bare hazel branches
profusely sprout soft tassles.
Swaying gold fringes.