Saturday 13 January 2007

Bealtine

Beltane or Bealtine was first published in the Jane Raeburn Pagan Muse Anthology: since then it has been performed in Ireland, Scotland and the USA as a piece for two voices, as part of "ritual performances" or theatre.

"Beltane":
from Rivers of Light

The fires were extinguished at dusk;
doused, dampened, across the
belly of the land.


The last inspiration of twilight,
fading with the dying rays of sun
denying the existence of hope.

The rushlights and candles
standing in brown pots
snuffed out with ruthless decision.

Breathless and wanton
She welcomes the dark
finding perfect acceptance.

A rapidness, daringness, derangement
of wood on skinfulness, sinful the way
they dance against the gathering night.

Cool breath of death
against overheated limbs
brushing against mountain ranges.

Hidden the contours of valley and hill
From the eyes of greed and envy
And on they dance still, heavy with desire
Pausing with expectations
refusing extolments of false praise
insisting on the truth of cruelty.

Til light streaks and nudity is warmed
By the rising sun, colour restored
In a land overlooked

The mid-time, the time of forgetting
The removal of knowledge
The trampling of self.

Til light steaks and reawakens
In a land unobserved, the tumultuous waters
Unaltered in course by the reappearance of light.

And the union of dark and lucid
Galvanizes the sleeping soul
of rush bordered lake and pebbled beach

And the call of the curlew opens up
The soft turf and heather of the marshy
straights, straddling the west

slight lines of silver traverse
the sleeping Eriu, the stretchmarks
of rebirth.

The Fires are relit at dawn, reborn
with tongues of merriment
sending messages across the face of god.

Rivers of silver this time,
free-flowing, pushing the days out
So that evening meets dawn.


© Geraldine Moorkens Byrne

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