Posted by: aediculaantinoi | December 23, 2013

For Sigillaria…

…I am giving you a few more poems that I wrote a while back, which were supposed to be published but weren’t. (I’ll say more on why another time, perhaps.)

Enjoy these poems to goddesses from around the world! (Which are all rather appropriate to this time of year, it turns out!)

Felix Sigillaria!

Invisible Pillars

Nut, great goddess of Egypt’s star-filled sky
holds her celestial body aloft on strong arms
and sturdy legs the height of a million hills–
the four invisible pillars of the heavens.

Geb’s desire for her grows in tall mountains,
in the spurting of volcanoes on sea islands,
but their father Shu keeps them apart,
the space between which allows all to breathe.

Geb seethes, and Nut closes in,
but Shu stretches and holds her back;
Geb falls back on himself, while Nut
wears a phallus and becomes self-contained.

She swallows Re in his barque each night,
she gives birth to him again each dawn–
the fiery indigestion becomes burning birth,
the sun renewed through Nut’s dark womb.

*****

In the Gríanán

As I sit in this sun-blessed spot,
I think on the lady who shines over Ériu.
They say: she is the sister of Áine;
the dark but pale sun of winter months.

She came to live among us as Gráinne,
eldest daughter of Cormac mac Airt, Tara’s king,
who was given in marriage to Finn mac Cumhaill,
but who fled in love with Diarmaid úa Duibhne.

Her sister, young Ailbe, the speckled one,
was a better match for the fénnid Finn,
the fáith of battle and éces of hunters;
a boar slew Diarmaid, and Gráinne died of grief.

So it was and ever had it been in the heavens,
when she was born at Samain, Grían her name,
and was crowned queen of night at solstice,
giving birth to great warriors from beneath cairns.

At Beltene, her sister Áine assumes sovereignty,
and is crowned queen at the midsummer festival
when rents are paid for lands well warmed
and crops grown under the year’s day sun.

Olc Aíche pursues her during her nights,
but prefers the company of Áine in her days;
so it is in the world of the gods,
so it would be on the plains of men.

The eldest sister is the dark one, Grían,
meant to be queen and surety of kingship
though often men–be they warriors or nobles–
prefer her affable and more pliant sister.

But the goddess of the night of the year’s sun
will have her way, will be lady over all,
queen on the earth though in exile,
queen of the heavens and the places of peace.

But, sun of summer or winter is scarce
on this isle of clouds and rain and mist;
therefore, raise walls around this place,
this spot sun-blessed in which I sit.

*****

Amaterasu-Omikami

August Heavenly
Woman over all kami
shining in the sky

Born from the eye of
Izanagi-Okami
at first misogi

Hid herself away
after offenses in cave
never to emerge

until the fearless
Ame-no-Uzume danced
everyone’s gaze seized

A stone over cave
ensures she will stay above
the heavens’ jewel

Ancestress from whom
the Emperors draw their strength
at holy Ise

Source of life and growth
golden mirror of the shrine
and of all on earth

Empress of Heaven
supreme and beloved bright
kami of the sun


Responses

  1. These are so beautiful thank you for sharing with us!

  2. So very beautiful poems. The goddesses of the second poem I am not familiar with, but I could feel the ache in the words for Griane(?). Perhaps the fact my feet are also cold helps me feel the poem more.

    • A huge part of this (and some of the other poems I wrote in this batch that I’ve not shared yet) was simply to get the names of some of these goddesses out there a bit more widely…and, the Irish ones in particular are both known but not terribly well understood, so I spent a great deal more time on that one than on many of the others. There is a plaintiveness in it, I think, that fits general Irish atmospheres pretty well, and the meter helps with that too, since it is based on a roughly Anglicized version of one of their more common (and relatively simple) poetic meters.

  3. Beautiful! May they be hailed and praised.

  4. […] bad things away, is the rest of the poems I wrote that were not published, which included this and these. Let me […]


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