Poetry: Bean Sidhe (And the Banshee Raises Her Wail)
Pastel art by Hollye B. Green
This weekend found me full of the Halloween spirit! Decoration are up and Connor’s costume is almost done. He is going as Link from Legend of Zelda.
I wrote this poem about 3 years ago. And yes, it is about a monster of sorts. The Bean Sidhe (or Banshee) is the messenger in Celtic legend. She is the harbinger of death or transformation, connected always to the Tuatha De’Danaan (Tribe of the Goddess Danu) and especially to the Sidhe (Fairies).
The Bean Sidhe is a monster very dear to my heart. She is the unbridled spirit living in every woman – the part that refuses to buckle and surrender to arbitrary rules made by others. She is that voice inside that tells us to leave a bad situation. She can only be true to her nature and call out for what is required. Transition or death. For most of us it is transition – standing up for yourself, speaking up and speaking out, voting, protesting, making your presence known.
And when we embrace her and let her out, she is fierce. Her wail, her warning, used properly can blow open doors, frighten the people around us who may have never heard us actually speak for ourselves. It is the voice of preservation, the clarion call that things must change – if only for you. Authentic nature will not be silenced.
Deeply sonorous, most defenseless
Unaware, unawake, poor man.
Red curtains shiver o’er shuttered window
Painting all the air with blood cast shapes
I sigh, next to him
Dressed in spasm of shadow from candlelight
Breath so quiet, sweet taste of camphor and kiss
Lingering like a faraway lover
For I am already gone and done
Already in the trees outside raising my wail
Already calling pale armies to raid
House and Soul
“Come down and be a good girl,” he said.
“Come down and make a home and try love
Wake before each sunrise next to me.”
And I did.
And oh the invisible cage
of his embrace
Even when he was not with me…
We built seasons, tore down dreams,
We built routine, tore down ideas.
I could not make a home with all the wild in my body
I could not constrain the savage driving my heart
So I wake before each midnight next to him
So the feral cry climbs in my body and twitches my limbs
He is all beauty–
base and innocent of the thing I am
He believes darkness only lives out in the trees
For when I next open my mouth,
it will be the last sound he hears.
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