Birdsong on the breeze
little birds, éiníní, singing
over walls, through fences of dogma and denial
lulling sentries, awakening me.
I trace the breeze back to its beginning —
your beating wings —
where great wood meets endless meadow
I glimpse you flitting in trees, rustling through grass
and I know you:
Ancestors of Blood and Spirit
Spirits of Land, Sea and Sky
Mighty Daoine Sídhe and sublime Fae
Goddesses and Gods, Shining Ones of deep wisdom and awesome power —
Great Beings in the guise of little birds —
flocks of Kindreds singing melodies to charm me
to bring me here, to the ford across the river that flows through wood and meadow
from Moon to Sun
where, for me, you leave a vital seed.
And of my free will, I soul-soil sow the seed.
Through your gifts, vision light and portal rain
and by my efforts, scholar’s compost and diligent tillage
the seed sprouts
the plant grows
the flower bud appears.
Druid Mysteries are the sun in this sky
Under which, on this day, the flower opens
becomes an inner eye for my true heart.
I swear to you now, Kindreds who sing that birdsong call
that this new bloom’s gaze shall turn to that Pagan light
and ever track that star’s path across the sky.
Birds now bees,
swarm from hives of the Summerlands
swarm from hives of Nature’s Middle Realm
swarm from hives of the Mounds and Forts and Secret Places
swarm from hives of Golden Light
where reasoned Truth and passionate Myth are one, whole and holy
Come drink the nectar of my dedication
grant me the pollen of your blessings.
I will attend the fruit this flower bears
and with you share the bounty that ripens under Druid Sun.
Now know that from this fruit,
more seeds shall I sow
and grow with you in the garden we share
and carefully care for through the spiral years
spinning ’round Earth Mother’s navel
where holy High Days’ hearth fire burns
I shall return down the eightfold avenue
with you to feed her flame fuel of my devotion
and in her slipstream seasons
the ancient strains I pledge to revive
to thrive anew in the garden I water with the passion of my blood,
a flood of nectar to fill your hives with honey.
Kindreds, brew the Mead of Inspiration
anoint me with an Uisce Beatha
and in the Druid’s garden, and in your honor
I shall weave the flowers of virtues, of magic, of art, of study, of seeking …
a living knotwork of blossom, fruit and seed I shall be.
Come again, Great Kindreds as little birds
I will sing with you
and with those whose fertile ears would hear
seed we shall share.
And as I say “shall,” shall it be so
or stars fall like hail from the Sky
and mountains melt across the Earth
and waves dry to dust on the Sea.
[Peter Coughlin writes poetry, fiction and non-fiction. His work has appeared in a wide range of publications from Sheet Music Magazine (which, once upon a time, he edited) to the upcoming issue of Oak Leaves. He is the current Senior Druid of Inis Úll—Apple Isle Grove, ADF in New York City. He is also a musician, private music teacher and occasionally leads nature walks focusing upon edible, magical and medicinal plants. Feel free to drop him a note at PeterDCoughlin@gmail.com.]