Bean Sidhe

By way of editorial comment: This poem of mine was published in a Pagan poetry anthology, Datura, by U.K.-based occult publisher Scarlet Imprint (2010). “Bean Sidhe” is Gaelic for literally “Woman of the Fae,” which becomes our English “banshee.” With Samhain approaching and the temperatures getting decidedly cooler and the nights longer here in Chicago, She’s a liminal figure commanding my attention these days (and nights), especially when I hear crows cawing in my local cemetery. Enjoy!

938-Banshee_4pngBean Sidhe

Hunching down beneath a willow

I use my finger to stir a pool of stars

Unquiet memories give chase

To the white hart that bounds out of the forest

Worn etchings sigh

On the loose cairns toppled on the black heath



Studding the night with rumors of forgetfulness

But the rags are tied above clootie wells

Faded-color prayers tattered by the winds that swell


Across the browning moors


Untabulated by me the hours

Spent unsullying the tunics of heroes

Washer at the ford


Between the lanes of megaliths

I stand, compass-led

By the welcoming light of your paired bale-fires

Grievances of years past

Sizzle like mutton fat roasted upon a spit

Sun and moon orbs flit beneath my eyelids

Spinning pale enchantments

Foretelling storms

Foretelling storms

With arms upraised to hush the growing reverie

Woven by slumbering stones

I trod the hoary heather beds

Clad with dying elk’s moans

Slumped sigh of earth-kissing antlers

As the spirit flees the bones



I grin and cackle

Among the parched fields

Blood still trickles

Lapped up by the tongue of moonless musing

In green robes

Amidst dazed worlds

Mist-mantled and slow

I stride along the paths carved out by men

Foretelling storms, you ken

Foretelling storms, you ken

Slittled cloud-bellies pour forth their tears

Harsh caw of swooping rook compounds the meaning

As I pull back my hood and start the keening


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