Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Poems: Welcoming the Good God of Ireland

I was happy to read today that two of the poems from my soon-to-be-finished collection Sun Among Stars: Poems Prayers to Brigit of Ireland, will be published in the upcoming anthology Harp, Club, and Cauldron: A Harvest of Knowledge. The subject is the Irish god An Dagda, The Good God, so named because he was good at everything. The book will feature essays, poetry, and whatever else editors Lora O’Brien and Morpheus Ravenna find worthy of their collection. The poems will be published under my Brigidine name, Mael Brigde. (Bet you didn't know I had such a thing, did you?)

I am happy about the poems, but I am also excited about the book. I trust these editors to select well thought out works, and the Dagda is a personage I am drawn to in many ways, due only in part to his being the father of the goddess Brigit, who is of special interest to me. I look forward to reading what people have to say about him.

From their Indiegogo page:

Welcoming the Good God of Ireland

He is a king, a druid, a war chieftain, a lover, and a worker of the land. He nourishes and he kills, he loves and he fights, in equal measure. He knows the sorcerous arts of druidry and the secrets of time. He is the Dagda - the mightiest of all the Irish Gods, and yet he is often overlooked in popular approaches to the Irish Gods.  We’re here to tell his story, and we need you to help make that possible.
Eel and Otter Press is proud to bring you Harp, Club and Cauldron: a curated anthology of scholarship, lore, practice and creative writings on the Dagda. This project is spearheaded and edited by Lora O’Brien and Morpheus Ravenna, respected authors and long-term practitioners of Irish spirituality. We’re teaming up with a stellar lineup of authors, artists, and spiritual practitioners to produce a volume as rich with knowledge and spiritual sustenance as the Dagda’s inexhaustible cauldron. We’re gathering in a harvest of original, in-depth scholarship on the lore, history, and cultural context of the Dagda, insightful reflections on his place in living Irish culture and religion, beautiful devotional rites and tools for the practitioner, and gorgeous devotional artwork.
Of course, there are costs to getting this book published and that’s why we’re launching this campaign. We believe authors and artists should be paid well for quality work, and there are publishing costs to cover. So we need you to join this campaign and help us welcome the Dagda.

Harp, Club and Cauldron: A Harvest of Knowledge in a Book

Our vision for this book distills the scholarship, experience, and creative vision of the Irish and Celtic spirituality communities to bring you a harvest of knowledge. The book will feature:
  • Works of original scholarship on the Dagda, his role in literature and cultural context, and related divinities
  • Translated early Irish textual material with commentary
  • Tools for the practitioner including prayers, rituals, recipes
  • Insightful experiential writings from priests and practitioners
  • Curated original creative writings
  • Original artwork and illustrations
We’ve recruited some of the best scholars, spiritual practitioners, and creative writers on Irish spirituality and mythic tradition to produce original material for this book. In order to ensure that Irish voices are featured prominently in this work, we’ve carefully selected our slate of contributors, rather than put out an open call for submissions. Our contributors have been chosen for the depth of their knowledge and connection to Irish tradition and the quality and originality of their work.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

“In Days and Nights the World is Spent”

I was delighted this week to receive a small package of books from Red Tuque. This is the seventh and final anthology in their Canadian Tales series: Canadian Tales of the Fantastic Volume VII. My story “Posture of the Infinite” appeared in number four, in 2014. In this volume my Scottish ghost story, “In Days and Nights the World is Spent”, has found a home.

Unfortunately for the masses, the print run sold out immediately and there won't be a reprinting. I suppose that is a bit disappointing for me, too. But c'est la vie.

If you are looking for a copy, let me know. I don't have many so it's first come, first served.


Sunday, February 26, 2017

Your Death Full of Flowers

by Wild Grace
At last I am able to reveal that I have several poems coming out in a breathtaking new anthology edited by Slippery Elm (who also translated the poems into Spanish, or from Spanish into English). Let me quote from the website:

A bouquet of poems arranged and translated by Slippery Elm

The thread that ties this bouquet together is that of the story of Blodeuwedd from the Mabinogion. A woman composed of flowers, who sought to kill her husband, and was thereby transformed into an owl. Blodeuwedd meaning flower-face, and the owl said to have been called blodeuwedd in the Welsh of yore. 

Just as the wizard Gwydion gathered blossoms of broom, meadowsweet, and trefoil, the editor gathers the poems to conjure something greater, a something that then goes on to wing the poetry out into the world. A deadly and nefarious agenda in the eyes of the princes of our age, or of those who are their followers and find no love or meaning but in their expendable busts. 

In the garden of these pages we encounter the whimsy and abandon of the eccentric who goes through life, toothless and in colourful rags, giving out flowers just because. Who heard the patter of Death’s slippers by their nightstand and received him with a bouquet. Who throws flowers at grooms and graves, and awoke suddenly as the rose’s final petal fell. We encounter the lyric and litany, the poison, the perfume, the lament, the laughter, and the eschatological love poem. The flowers that open above us. 

Flowers have been plucked from a well pick’d troop of poets, poets of the other breath, of the diverse brushstroke and the obscure melody. Major figures in English, Spanish, Arabic, American, and Welsh literatures, as well as newly emerging voices. Poets both young and old, and poets dead as much as living. Poets who have proven themselves worthy of the appellation, not just through prizes, accolades or infamy but through a certain generosity of the spirit and a marked commitment to the Poetry. This almost spiritual pedigree, of wise innocence, of beatific inspiration, might be boiled down into two words, which in some ways, are each a reflection of the other. For the old: trust. For the young: bravery. 

All poems appear in English and Spanish, and one in Arabic. The two languages form a dialectic in which meaning is generated in the space between them. It is in this hermeneutic tension between the Yes and the No, at the interstice between the two different tongues, between the dead nettle and white archangel, right in the centre of the book, that the beginning of an answer is given to the riddle of all riddles. 


This book is a fairy dart tipped with a draught to re-enchant a chantless world. That the lector remember his or her mortality and live all the more fully for it. Our aim is true. We swear by all flowers.