Brighid’s Day Poetry Celebration


Catechism for a Witch’s Child
by J.L. Stanley

When they ask to see your gods
your book of prayers
show them lines
drawn delicately with veins
on the underside of a bird’s wing
tell them you believe
in giant sycamores mottled
and stark against a winter sky
and in nights so frozen
stars crack open spilling
streams of molten ice to earth
and tell them how you drink
a holy wine of honeysuckle
on a warm spring day
and of the softness
of your mother who never taught you
death was life’s reward
but who believed in the earth
and the sun
and a million, million light years
of being.

This beautiful poem by J. L. Stanley has been in my files for many years. This poem which I love so well was such a good match for this old photo I found recently of my own witchling daughter Chrysalis sitting on our back deck surrounded with abalone shells, incense, paints, candles, brushes, rocks, velveteen slippers and assorted magical tools. On the cusp of womanhood, she had her coming-of-age ceremony on this same deck around the same time. This photo was taken in January of 1997 as the sun was setting and the Mighty Coyote River was in full flood stage, a rare occurrence for it to be able to be seen, and heard! from the house. A time for sweet and powerful magic, taught, and learned, by her mother “who believed in the earth.”

{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Ambermoggie, a fragrant soul 02/02/2010, 3:25 pm


  • wyldearth 02/02/2010, 4:02 pm

    Thank you so much for this poem – never heard it before – need to pass it around….

  • Cari 02/02/2010, 4:44 pm

    Apparently, many poetry bloggers are leaving their links at with the tag “brighid 2010” so they all come up together, a wonderful web of poetry links. Also, there is a feed over at
    Amber, I added some background on the photo at the same time you were commenting from England; the photo and poem were such a good match.

  • prano 02/03/2010, 6:12 pm

    Beautiful Cari, thanks for sharing.

  • Mary Sue 02/03/2010, 10:15 pm

    A Snapshot in time, space, & momory takes us back there like it was just yesterday!
    Lovely Poem to move us all.
    Thank you Cari.
    Mary Sue

  • Sia 02/21/2010, 9:53 pm

    Very, very special and one I had not encountered before. Thank you so much for sharing this.

    I so enjoy reading your blog.


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