Kestrel's Nest

The First Year - Spring
Imbolc - Beltane 2003

Some of the poems I wrote at this time are a little whimsical. Four were composed in a single day in a flurry of energy raised by the great Peace March in London on February 15th when a million people including myself and a group from The Druid Network protested against the impending War with Iraq.

Hawk Stone
Reversed Polarity
Sun and Moon Invocation
Drum Song
Marching Song, 15th February 2003
To Rachael, Caer Abiri, Alban Eilir 2003

Hawk Stone

The Hawk Stone is a single stone, taller than a man, that stands all alone in a field in North Oxfordshire. It has no signpost to it though it is shown on OS maps. If you want to see it then go when there are no crops because there's no path to it either. It is heavily pockmarked from centuries of weathering. Local legends abound about it. Some say it is where witches were chained and burned but there is no fire damage on the stone. It has a slot in the top that seems to mark a direction but weathering has made the direction uncertain. It has a strange, brooding, slightly malevolent energy. It has helped me once to see my way but it only helps if it's in the right mood, which seems seldom from my experience.

In a field
Near nowhere
And alone
A stone stands,
And brooding,
Telling of ages past,
Marking a way
But since long gone.
A Bird of Prey
Left by an ancient hand
That decays not
But foretells decay.
Her pock-marked face
A thousand ages
Yet have seen.
A Hawk of Fate
That talks to me
In secret ways,
Her silent voice
Speaking mutely,

© Angela Grant (Kestrel) 1/2/2003

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Reversed Polarity

The Moon is She,
The Sun is He,
Why must that be?

In ancient times the Sun was She,
A glowing female form,
Sharing Her light abroad.
How so the Moon?
He shone in borrowed radiance,
The pale Consort of His Mother’s womb.

From on high Brid’s fire
Was brought to Earth
To forge Bran’s blade
That shone with His pale fire,
The guardian of the dead.

On high a double standard fares
As Bran Morgana’s raven shares
And Brid and Bel both hold the flame.

So shall in every man be seen
The Moon’s pale radiance;
While woman’s fire shall flame
The passions of her heart.

The Sun and Moon
Both She and He,
It is so – So let it be,
The Mirror of Eternity.

© Angela Grant (Kestrel) 16/2/2003

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Sun and Moon Invocation

Sun, bright in the morning
Guiding me on my way
Being my light and my guidestar,
Leading me onwards to those I love.
Praise be to Thee,
Lady of the Morning
Bright, Glorious, Burning One.

Moon, bright in the evening
Guiding me on my way
Being my light and my lodestone,
Bringing me homewards in the darkness.
Praise be to Thee,
Lady of the Evening
Bright, Glorious, Shining One.

Be with me always,
Guide me in all I do,
Fill me with your power.

© Angela Grant (Kestrel) 16/2/2003

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Drum Song

This calls on the three Celtic powers of Land, Sea and Sky. It was intended that the verses are to be chanted to the rhythm of a drum. The poem as written originally had the word 'power' instead of 'Song' at the end of each verse (I was more witch than druid then). However, on taking part in a Living Druidry course early in 2004 the following was used in a ritual calling on the Three. At that point the word was changed becoming, for me, the high point of a very magical experience. See also Song of Life written at that time.

Drum, drum, drum, drum….

Living Earth below me,
Living Stones, Living Mud,
Down, down to the Earth’s Core.
Spirits, I reach out to you,
Fill me with your Song.

Drum, drum, drum, drum….

Living Seas around me,
Waters of Earth, Waters of Sky,
Sacred Springs, Sacred Wells.
Spirits, I reach out to you,
Fill me with your Song.

Drum, drum, drum, drum….

Living Sky above me,
Creature of Wind, Creature of Air,
Covering the whole Earth.
Spirits, I reach out to you,
Fill me with your Song.

Drum, drum, drum, drum….

Tir! Môr! Awyr!
Spirits of Land, Sea and Sky,
Bring me peace!
Bring me health!
Bring me joy!
Fill me with your Song!

Drum, drum, drum, drum….

© Angela Grant (Kestrel) 16/2/2003
and 10/1/2004

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Marching Song, 15th February 2003

This recalls the great Peace March itself and has already been published on The Druid Network website.

Thousands marching, marching, marching,
       This is the power of the land!
Thousands drumming, drumming, drumming,
       This is the hope of the land!

Who shall tell us we are wrong?
Who shall deny our power?
We are the small people, we are the free people,
No one shall hold us in thrall!

Thousands chanting, chanting, chanting,
      This is the need of the land!

Who is fearful on this day?
Those in their ivory towers.
Who shall now still say us nay?
Those who are lovers of power.

Thousands calling, calling, calling,
      This is the voice of the land!
We shall have peace!
We shall have light!
We shall have love!
      This is the power of the land!

© Angela Grant (Kestrel) 16/2/2003

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To Rachael, Caer Abiri, Alban Eilir 2003

This recalls the Gorsedd of Bards of Caer Abiri held at Avebury at the Spring Equinox.

It was your day.
Just one of many there
Come to honour the Goddess
From far-flung towns and villages
To meet at the sacred place.

It was your day.
What was it about you?
What did the Lady see?
What turned her eye to look your way;
To choose you as her vessel?

It was your day.
The sun shone on nature’s beauty;
On man and woman, child, dog, and calling rook,
And most of all on you,
Enthroned and honoured.

It was your day
To recall in future time
Of how one sun-filled spring day
Brid’s fire was in you
And all nature sang in honour!

© Angela Grant (Kestrel) 23/3/2003

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Awen is the flowing stream of inspiration that links all life in the universe. A stream of energy that feeds and can be fed. It is the web of life that links all creatures.

Life is a stream
Of burning light.
A burning stream
That speaks of passions
Yet to be fulfilled;
Of desires yet to be found;
Of hopes that cannot
Yet be seen.

All things can come to pass
When time and tide
Are at the full
And life’s stream
Glows with the strength
Of a thousand suns.

Fire and water
Brought in one place
Flowing to a sea
Of futures yet to be seen;
The fulfilment
Of all life’s dreams.

So let it be
And what can be
Will be….

© Angela Grant (Kestrel) 28/3/2003

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This recalls a visit I made to Belas Knap with a friend. In the eastern chamber I felt a brooding presence, a guardian. I have translated this into French.

I felt her – that day – all unexpecting,
A dark presence on a bright morn
Taking me to depths of memory,
Cold places and long-lost days.

I touched the stone
And felt her growling
Like a huge dog
Curled and sleeping
That warns me – the stranger –
I tread on her ground.

A guardian set in ancient times
To remind us this earth
Is only ours in trust
And if we fail that trust
She will rise,
Her green-gold scales
Burning in the sun,
To wreak havoc
And return the land
To primal chaos
From whence it came….

© Angela Grant (Kestrel) 11/4/2003