All Their Voices

Words and thoughts in devotion to the Divine

Leave a comment

A Father’s Song

Never was father ever prouder of his daughter.

Not just a worthy woman;

enough skills has she for three women

–doctor, smith, poet–

and paramount, without peer, is she at all three.

Gentle are the hands of the healer,

grinding herbs,

setting broken bones,

stitching wounds,

massaging away pain from muscles with oils and ointments.

Strong are the hands of the smith,

lifting the hammer to bring it down,

turning the hot metal with tongs,

shaping it with careful blows,

quenching it in cool spring water.

Deft are the hands of the poet,

trimming the quill pen,

stretching and cleaning the parchment,

letting the fire in the blood

kindle verses for the bard and insults for the satirist.

What skills does she bring to a battle?

Not hard:

weapons keen and cruel to let the blood of the foe;

words and wit sharp as steel to lacerate an enemy’s courage;

bindings and medicaments to once more make whole the flesh of our own.

None there is like her,

My daughter Brigid,

Brigid daughter of the Dagda,

Dagda the son of Danu,

Danu leader of her people.


Leave a comment

Paean to Brigid

You are a healer, but you are not

the gentle, doe-eyed, dainty lady

that some folk make you out to be.

Your arms and shoulders bulge with muscle,

gained from lifting your hammer in the forge;

you are practiced with swords.

No weak and whining maid,

no cringing, fainting girl.

Woe to the foe that underestimates you;

send him screaming to his doom!

The hands that heal, that build, and

that pen songs of praise

may also wield the blade that takes

a head from its shoulders.

Hail to the warrior healer,

warrior smith,

and warrior poet:

May your sword shine ever bright!


Prayer for Brigid

Forge-lady, healer,
here is a lump of ore for your anvil.
Pitted and scarred,
cracks and craters a mute testimony
to past attempts to
pound this crude and damaged lump
into keen steel.
I pray your hammer will do the work
of finally restoring to wholeness
the broken and battered,
torn and twisted
chunk of crippled rock
that is my heart.
Make of me, forge-lady, healer,
a useful tool,
that once again I may do good work
out there in the world
where You send me.

Leave a comment

Song to Brigid at Imbolc

The hammer swings, the anvil rings

At breaking of the dawn’s first light.

Like hallowed bell or solemn knell

To sweep away the winter’s night.

The flame that shines in bright smith’s shrine

Has burned a thousand years or more,

Undimmed by woes or rage from those

Who bring on famine, plague, or war.

It ever burns for those who yearn

For healing, skill of hands, or art,

We turn to Her whose mercies blur

The pain that burdens every heart.

As gift to She who inspires me,

I offer now my humble song,

Its words of praise ring through my days,

And makes the bond between us strong.

If these words meet approval sweet

From her, I have achieved my aim;

I am no bard, but labor hard

That each verse sings her holy name.