folktober – “Cailleach”
Drawing by John Duncan in Wonder Tales from Scottish Myth and Legend (1917)
-Constance Bacchus (as featured in Empty Mirror https://www.emptymirrorbooks.com/poems/constance-bacchus)
When Brigid casts
her autumn crown
The winter hag
puts on her gown
Strides the mountains
upon their tops
Where she steps
her plaid frost drops
Whilst she sits
on her mountain throne
Snows will fall
on ground like stone
Peter Roe – October 2021
There she stood in her wrinkled peach skin
Wizened by years and knowing
That her full self would not be seen
By the people who chose fear
Of age and cunning.
She smiled at the thought of time
Playing pranks on those beautiful ones
With souls darker than any shade
That could be viewed on the bleakest
Of starless nights .
The pulling of the enforced smiles
Bestowed on those who berated her daily
Yet said nothing except sweet hellos
For fear of the old woman’s curse
Of spending eternity with her.
If they knew she thinks I’ve harmed none
From a girl to cailleach
Yet still they fear my separateness
Like it’s catching or enchanted
Or they may learn something.
If I were not a woman she tuts
A hermit I’d be and no fear would follow
But a woman who wants the same…
One day we shall have it. A world of equals
Of nothing different
Of that I can hope.
I constantly move under my own weight.
I slowly deform, flow under stresses
induced by my own weight to create
seracs, formed by intersecting crevasses.
Old hag’s stick strike makes ice, hammer makes hills,
moves mountains. I am Queen of the Winter.
I freeze your bones, give you the shake of chills.
I’m earth mover, rock breaker, bone splitter.
I’m a one-eyed giantess with white hair, dark
blue skin, and rust-coloured teeth. Glacier
I’m retreating, losing fight with heats mark
melts me increases ocean, disappear.
I’m a divine hag who is more and more
absent. Soon I will be myth and folklore
Bios And Links
lives with her daughter in eastern Washington. Sometimes they discuss mythology, especially strong women like Cailleach.
has been writing stories, poems and verses since she was a child.
It’s not always what is considered poetry by some, as she isn’t a lover of sweet, schmaltzy rhymes!
She is currently writing her first novel. A psychological thriller with a paranormal element, and she hopes to bring out a poetry collection one day!
She lives on the Isle of Skye. While some of her poetry is written from personal experience, others are written from her slightly dark and twisted imagination.