Birdsong–A Blogger’s Silent Poetry Reading

Posted by on Friday, February 1st, 2019

This year, I celebrate Imbolc with a new song of my own. 


Spoken introduction
Recording of Birdsong

The Raven’s eye sees everything,
From winter’s death to birth of spring,
He favors neither slave nor king
But Bran’s own blessed singers.
Broad wings beat the air in flight
As life and death war through the night
And Raven oversees the fight
Between light and the darkness


Each bird a feather on the wing
Of Clanne Preachain
Each call a verse that we can sing
Sing out Clanne Preachain


The Osprey flies along the coast
She’ll stoop and strike a shining host
And Tethra’s kine will pay the cost
To feed her clamoring nestmates.
Her keen eye spies the sparkling prey
Her talons grasp, her pinions splay
She fights the water’s drowning spray
And calls out in her triumph


The War Crow flies among the spears,
A harbinger of widow’s tears.
She drives our Warband past their fear
To feats of strength and glory.
The battlefield is her domain.
Her children feast upon the slain.
For every death is Corvid’s gain.
Badb Catha claims her portion.


Golden Eagle–first of birds
The fire’s breath, the birth of words.
He carved bright stars to light the Earth
From stone beneath his talons.
Guardian of Yggdrassil.
Embodiment of Zeus’s will.
Broadest wing and strongest quill,
Let Eagle soar the highest.


The Jackdaw is a canny rake
Who’ll snatch a coin for glimmer’s sake,
And study every move you make
With eyes of shining silver.
The clattering will dive and roll,
And nest upon a wind-swept knoll,
A family of prattling coal,
Who feasts on stolen spoils.


The Goshawk is the tundra’s queen,
Perched within her bower green,
Her scarlet eyes and talons keen
Will terrify her quarry.
The falconer’s beloved friend,
The hound’s helpmate, the rabbit’s end.
The circling flight and steep descent
Make Goshawk Noblest hunter


Magpies sing a thousand songs,
And gather up in chattering throngs:
The folkmoot counts up all the wrongs
Against our piebald kinfolk.
One for sorrow, two for mirth,
The witches’ friend through death and birth,
A charm of Magpies knows their worth
And guards their fallen family.


The footnoted version, complete with sources to untangle the dense allusions, is here


Filed in bardic,Celtic | One response so far

One Response to “Birdsong–A Blogger’s Silent Poetry Reading”

  1. Kirstenon 21 Mar 2019 at 6:14 pm 1

    I love the way things thread back into the past. The osprey verse is my favorite, I think, but learning about Bran is great, too.

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