Imbolc tale

A short poetic account of the death of Ruadan, one of the sons of Brigit, and the cause of the first keening in Ireland. A little late for Imbolc, I know, but my brain has been in places both gloomy and, more recently, bright.


The hearth is smoored, its warmth draws kin,
Smith’s forge lures in pawn of vain sire,
His plan flawed as Goibniu speared skin.
Brewer’s win casts dam’s pride to pyre.

Comes the one veiled, her hair unseen.
Hides the flame’s sheen, this not the time.
His life has failed, cut now the skein,
She begins to keen, tears quicklime.

Ruadan’s redness spilt, snows shroud drawn
Delays the dawn. Mother’s grief
Made hope wilt, all chance of spring scorn
Summer unborn, an unfurled leaf.

The wind laments, ice seals his tomb
Yet light dispels gloom, her heart heals
Memory’s price the flowers bloom

Grave gifts, mourner’s plume, life unseals.


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