28 February 2021

#28 - Queen of Winter


(Russell J Turner)

The Cailleach is a Gaelic creator and weather deity. In modern Scottish folklore she is also known as Beira, Queen of Winter

Her mountain tops are cast like stepping stones

across the fields and forests, down the glen

where deer run between her strides and then

the hammer falls. All silence. Owls are flown

into the night, beyond the tracks of bone

which spiral downwards. Downwards, once again,

it is the doom and destiny of men

to live, to strive, to die beneath her throne.

She strikes a summer bargain with her shade

a covenant not made with pen and ink

division of forever is the price

which both will pay. She gathers up her blade

to strip the logs and kindling, then she drinks

deep from the well before it turns to ice.


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