Northwords Now

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Winged Solstice

by Cáit O'Neill McCullagh

Flight-cold winded
heavy-winged, we are
wild geese grain-hungry
skeined to the sun we chase
we coorie to the cairn’s mouth
cleave to Clava’s dipped strath
there she strews last & first light
there chambers corbel to capture her
wedlocked in this earliest midnight, we
press palms impassioned, plead promises
beseech boulders dimple-ringed with pasts
& watch our shadows conquer every lintel
sentinels at this warming of the earth’s womb
as solstice sweetens, filtered amid our fingers  
she whispers spring & unfolds our wings to soar.

The wild goose has raised its accustomed cry,
cold has seized the birds’ wings;
season of ice, this is my news.
 - Anon., Ireland, 9th Century

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