The Winter King Beckons


The last blackberries picked

by Michaelmas Day;

And sloes still to pick

by Old Michaelmas day;

There’s apples for the season

from Harvest through Autumn

As the bones of the Mare

with leaf-fall wane bare;

For now still she rides

though the Winter King beckons

And the shades of the season

will be bright with her riding

Then fade as she passes

while the song of her birds

is already dwindling;

The hues of the sunlight

filtered through rainshine

will glow as she goes

Through the rainbows of Autumn

diffused in the mists

which he’ll cast all about her 



River runs through the glade
Kingfisher flies, river speed,
racing water, glittering
flashes of bright colour
intermittent in dappled light,
sharp call briefly heard.

Such magical appearances
and disappearances mirror
Rhiannon’s riding, now here,
now there; Kingfisher kith
and kin with Rhiannon’s birds.

Midsummer Revels

The Pipes of Mabon, singing, singing,
Filling the air with the Summer’s song
The son of Modron, dancing, dancing
Through woven ways all the Summer long.

The Birds of Rhiannon, flying, flying,
Entwining their song with the pipes in the air,
The Cup of Rosmerta, brimming, brimming,
Through long days of sunlight and twilight fair.

Festivall, festivall, they pronounce for these days
For the sweetness of Summer enchantment decree;
On Midsummer mornings when the Piper is calling
It’s there with the wild gods that we wish to be.

Blackbird at an Altar

Placed with love
the one dusky rose
(the only one from a stem
that gives just one,
and that one given
to Rhiannon)

I stood a little way back
and the blackbird came
(who shares the garden
with us, as if tame)
perched on Mererid’s fountain
and drank from the cup of Rosmerta
which stands in the water there.

This cup overflowing
with the water of life
partaken of here
by a bird that has graced this garden
from Spring to Summer
and shares this offering cup of Rosmerta.

Rhiannon’s voice on the quavering Air
Rosmerta’s rush of rising Water
Holds this spot of Earth in care
Where a rose’s Fire lights an altar.


EPONA : Horse Mother to the Gaulish tribes
And when their riders became Roman cavalry
It was she they worshipped in paddocks and stables.

RIGANTONA : the Brythons’ sovereign goddess
Leather-clad on horseback she came to bestow
Wealth to the tribe and strength to their leader.

RHIANNON rode in silks on a pale-white steed
From Annwfn to seek her chosen mate,
No-one but he could halt her pace.

A horse-woman came riding for True Thomas
From fair Elfland; he took her for the Queen of Heaven
But she denied it and rode away with him.

A ‘Belle Dame’ came to a poet who had invoked her
Wild-eyed she took him, enthralled he remained
Long after the enchanted summer had faded.

Remember her now in each of these guises
In enchanted May as the gates of Faery open
And she rides once again across our land.


Each of these can be found elsewhere on this site

EPONA – ar drywydd y meirw/on the path of the dead

from a funeral stone , Gaul.

EPONA : ar drywydd y meirw

Metamorphoses, transformations, transpositions
Identities lost and found as shapes shift
On the paths of the dead, finding
New ways to be alive as forms fuse
One to another : human to badger,
Bee to wolf, bear to otter; from one to many.

On these paths anything goes (or goes).
What might we become along these trails?
All is fluid, molecules of liquidity like
Hydrogen and oxygen in water sliding
From one identity to another in the dark,
Tripping over each other to find again
The way to the light which beckons
Far off yet, but welcoming whenever
And wherever she will guide you.

Daily Devotions

‘Quietly going about the business of keeping the Shrine area in order in such a way that it becomes an intense devotional activity in itself’ so I wrote in my notebook after beginning the re-arrangement of the garden Shrine at Imbolc or Gwyl Ffraid.

It is the simple performance of such tasks and spoken words that seem most to make the Shrine a substantial presence, rather than any ritual acts. Having described the simple regular devotions at the Shrine in past posts there seems little point to re-iterating them, hence this occasional ‘Diary’ rather than a more formal account.

It has always been my view that others cannot be directly taught how to engage in devotional activity; though they can be shown how others do it, only by a process of discovery can one become aware of what an individual needs to do alone or together with other like-minded individuals.

Institutional religion is often more of an institution than it is a religion.