Kestrel's Nest

The Second Year - Spring
Imbolc-Beltane 2004

The Wheel turns, Spring comes with new beginnings...

First Fire
Silent Darkness
The Girl with the Strange Eyes
Burning the Past


First Fire

After a long wait, but worth it, a friend delivered a fire basket he'd made for me, for my new home. An expert metalworker, Brid's smith with Brid's fire at Imbolc, Brid's time, had unconsciously woven magic numbers of twists into the iron frame of the basket. He hadn't realised until I pointed it out.

Fire Dancing,
Magic moments,

Last night I ignited
    A new beginning;
First fire in
    My fire,
    My hearth,
    My home.

    The spirits of the flames;
    My spirit
To the place of life,
    My life;
Uniting with me
    In a union of fire,
    Communion of fire;
Beauty and warmth
    In one.

The link is forged
    In flame,
    In iron;
Brid’s forge, Brid’s fire,
    At Brid's time ;
Three and Two and Four
    Is Five and Nine;
Magic numbers twisting,
    Twisted in iron;
Three for the Three Worlds;
    Land, Sea, Sky;
    Past, Present, Future;
    Maiden, Mother, Crone;
Two for Duality,
    Male and Female,
    God and Goddess;
Four for the four Directions,
    North, South, East, West;
Five for the five Elements,
    Spirit, Earth, Air, Water, Fire;
Nine for the Nine Maidens
    Whose breath
    Warms the cauldron
    Of life;
Three times three,
    Magic concentrated
On Friday the Thirteenth!

Magical protection
    Twisted into iron;
Fire licked iron,
    My iron,
    My fire,
    My hearth,
    My home,
    My future;
No beginning,
    No ending;
Of the heart,

© Angela Grant (Kestrel) 14/2/2004

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I have bird feeders in my garden that attract enormous numbers of small birds. This congregation attracts the odd predator...

In a flash of feathers
     I see her,
Alighting on
My neighbour’s gate.
Fierce eye and
     Long talons,
Waiting innocuous for
     Her next chance,
And then she’s off!
A hapless tit
     Unwary and hungry
Touches my feeder
And she narrowly misses
     His escape into the hedge.

She rests and then takes
    Her post on the gate.
My garden is empty
    Of its usual flurry
    Of finches and tits.
Only the hungriest remain
    To risk her claws.
She’s off again!
Another tit
    Dashes for cover
And she flies back
    To her relentless watch.

Beautiful she may be
    But I’ve had enough;
I don’t feed birds
    For her pleasure.
I open the window
    And off she goes;
Hugging the hedges
    And dodging the shrubs,
Then a low sweep
    Across the meadow
To her refuge in the woods,
There to resume
    Her watch…

© Angela Grant (Kestrel) 14/2/2004

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Silent Darkness

Primarily this came from the decision to hold the first meeting of the Druid Order of the Yew at the Dark Moon before the Spring Equinox.

There is a sound in silence,
     Deathly and frightening;
There is a light in darkness,
     Enveloping like a shroud;
And in this silent darkness
     I can hear my soul scream
     And nothing more…

There is a power in darkness,
    Strong and impelling;
Drawing me into itself
    Until I lose myself
    In its ensnaring web…

And in this dark silence
    I will call the spirits
    That rule this darkness;
To bring me that I need,
    That power of change:
To shake me from the binding cords
    That now imprison me…

So to this silent darkness
    I now let go my scream!
To go where it will
    And hope it may be heard
    Not only by those dread spirits,
But more, much more,
    By me…

© Angela Grant (Kestrel) 8/3/2004

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I found by accident on the Internet a poem called Invocation by Robin Williamson. I subsequently managed to obtain a used copy of his first book of poetry Home Thoughts from Abroad (1972). His poetry has affected me. Particularly in the way I structure my poetry allowing more freedom of association of meaning. I suppose this poem and the next owe something to that. If you read this, many thanks Robin!

There can be no giving in dying
it is the centring of one self
the eye of the needle
journey of the soul
time unsaid

© Angela Grant (Kestrel) 16/3/2004

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This came into my head over several weeks. Just one line at first then pieces collecting in my thoughts jotted down on paper. Finally the day before I finished lumps of lines came out all in the wrong order, needing writing down, nearly making me late for an appointment. On the final morning more lines randomly, forming no pattern, until I pieced the whole together and gave it form. It is aspiration rather than actuality but, nonetheless, it has a certain truth.

In the high mountains
I am wolf
grey-coated soft-muzzled
hard teeth ripe for tearing
hunting with pack tenacity
the mountain hare
with my cubs behind in safety
yelping in play
or quiet
and afraid as the bear passes
I will bring them supper
blood on the snow.

In the high clouds
I am kestrel
brown of feather taut of wing
quivering over vole-midden
shining and moving
in the nest fluffed fledglings
hungry and calling
I dive deep deep for fur and entrails
and strike and tear
at the heart of the world.

In the wild grasses
I am serpent
silently deadly
sliding between the rocks
with sun’s warmth for blood warmth
to my children no mother
I give them life
they must take for themselves
my tongue like flames flickering
I take the lark’s egg
swallowing whole.

In the forest waters
I am roe hind
drinking with soft tongue
silent and fragile
silent like a ghost walking
grass my only quarry
my fawn by my side
nuzzling and suckling
I move with no movement
seen by the sightless
following the horned one
my hoof cloven
the sole marker.

In the small house of my choosing
I am woman
changeless changing
crone maiden and mother
male and female
barren yet mothering
there are those that love me
that I care for
the hearthside seer
weaving magic
weaving the power of words
talking in mind
with spirits
seeing the formless forms
revealed by cards
healing to the soul
feeling and knowing
connecting accepting

© Angela Grant (Kestrel) 17/3/2004

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This speaks for itself. I wrote it with tears in my eyes. After years of living in places of other people's choosing I really have come home...

I climb the last hill
    and I hear the voices calling.
I pass the arch of trees
    and I hear their song.
Before me a village
    caught in the angle of a valley
    lost in the hills.
The square, strong tower
    marking the passage
    of countless ages.
Roman, Norman
    have been here
    and the greedy monk
    planting sweet chestnuts
    where roe deer softly pass.
A place
    where lives have burned
    their image in the soil;
    a place where magic dwells
    and envelopes;
    where spirits take
    and hold a wayward soul.
This is my home;
    where my heart lies.
However far I go
    to this place I will return;
    even when my spirit passes
    beyond the grave.
Land of my line
    and my upbringing
    calling to me
    across centuries
    bringing my spirit

© Angela Grant (Kestrel) 25/3/2004

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The Girl with the Strange Eyes

A dream, not reality...

Oh girl with the strange eyes
teach me to share
that has never shared
teach my soul to share each moment
each morsel of love
let our hearts entwine
let our souls entwine
let our bodies share the ecstasy
the bliss of being
let us share our souls
let us share our lives
let us share the touch that burns
the touch that fires the heart
let our beings join as one
let us lose ourself in oneness
as our bodies join
let us be as one
let the fire in our hearts
be one with the fire in our souls
let our souls rejoice
in the touch of touching
in the join of joining
in the love of living
see through my eyes
girl with the strange eyes
let our strange tongues entwine
let the music of your voice
be ever in my ear
let our union be oneness
of our lives
let your skin be my skin
let my skin be your skin
to touch and play and share
in the joy of joining
in the joy of living
let your scent be my scent
let my scent and yours join
and be as one
in the bliss of loving
and living and being
be true to me
and I will be true to you
let our truth be shared
in the love of joining
in the oneness of being
oh girl with the strange eyes
be with me…

© Angela Grant (Kestrel) 21/4/2004

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Burning the Past

In moving I have found many old papers bringing back memories of the past. A past that is dead but still evokes emotion. Burning the papers does not destroy the emotion...

Fire consuming
burning absorbing
absorbing paper and air
creating ashes
ashes of the past
past remembered
now forgotten
yet still remembered
lost yet still present
for memory
cannot be burned away
except by loss of self
of all sense
blocking not being
to be is to remember
to be with the past
in the present

© Angela Grant (Kestrel) 21/4/2004