Meeting the Cailleach
I’ve watched the darkness swell
to smother spaces and distances
as we hurtle towards the solstice,
and I have stridden through it, slipping
along damp paths between graves,
ground mist, its clammy chill, and forgot,
in the haste to reach home, to linger
within its shivering potential, to take
a little time to sample its treasure,
let it press upon me the weightlessness
of wintering, so now I cannot help
but stop dead in my tracks, frozen,
for some odd reason distraught by
the glow of windows and streetlamps.
Cailleach (Irish & Scottish): an old woman (crone, hag).
Bob Beagrie is a widely published poet and performer. His most recent collection is When We Wake We Think We’re Whalers from Eden (Stairwell Books, 2021). He lives in Middlesbrough, recently completed a PhD by completed work and is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Teesside University.