F is for… Filidecht*

I’m posting this two days early, not just because I’m going away tomorrow, but also because this little ditty is a bit of an Equinox offering. Enjoy.

There’s a golden flash of colour on the A52,
I saw it streaming by as my Berlingo drove past.
It might have been daffodils, or crocuses, or Spring,
But I couldn’t quite be sure – I was going too fast.
And I felt the seasons turning, and the coming May Queen –
But I’m a modern neopagan, and the lights had turned green.

There’s a golden flash of colour on the A52
Where it looks like tiny figures took a paintbrush to the land,
And they stood on ghostly ladders and took Otherworldly hues
To create a splash of brilliance with nimble fairy hands.
And it lifted up my spirit and it carried me away –
But I’m a modern neopagan, and it was a busy day.

There’s a golden flash of colour on the A52,
And I’ll need my iPhone sat-nav app to find it again,
Somewhere out between the Tesco Metro and the roundabout,
But the X that marks the treasure isn’t in the fast lane.
And I couldn’t find a parking space convenient enough.
I’m a modern neopagan, and the rush-hour is rough.

There’s a golden flash of colour on the A52,
A hoard of wealth you can’t get near at fifty miles an hour.
No salary nor lottery could buy me all that gold,
But I didn’t cash my ticket in for a moment with a flower.
My day was timed precisely for efficiency and speed.
I’m a modern neopagan with a lot of mouths to feed.

There’s a golden flash of colour on the A52,
But the diary says the Equinox is not until next week.
So I kept on driving, past the brightest glory of the season
And the turning of the Wheel was just a blurry vernal streak.
But if Spring passes me by and I forget to seek the jewel,
I’m a modern neopagan – and my next day off is Yule.

So tomorrow, you might see me crawling underneath the railings
That divide Life from the road (and see daylight dance with night),
Heading out towards the forest, where a patch of feral daisies
Waits in quiet anticipation of the symmetry of light —
Or you might see me obliviously going on my way.
I’m a modern neopagan, and it’s only one more day.


*Filidecht is the Old Irish word for poetry – and it has concepts of seership and magic and divination and nature and community all woven in. Because words are magical.

5 thoughts on “F is for… Filidecht*

  1. I like the way this poem addresses the way that the majority of pagan practice involves taking time out from the rush of the road, getting from A to B, leaving the slipstream of concrete and exhaust fumes to climb a hill, enter a woodland or find a patch of feral flowers in an urban edgeland.

    I’m going through a phase of wondering whether this division is fruitful. Is time spent in ritual in a sacred place more valuable than the car journey there?

    I’m beginning to think perhaps not.

    In fact I’m currently working on a poem about the M6 inspired by my journey to the Druid Network AGM. Interesting coincidence!

    • Very interesting! I agree with you that we decide what is sacred space (usually woodland, countryside etc) and bypass the rest – missing all the spirits there. I think of myself as a bit of an urban druid and do love the city spirits. I’ve had some great spiritual experiences on long car journeys!

      Didn’t realise you were going to TDN’s AGM. I couldn’t make it this year, but I’m hoping to go another year. Hope you enjoyed it!

  2. Have you been reading my mind? >.>

    This issue has been very, very much on my mind of late, and you’ve illustrated it perfectly. It’s a hard balance to meet, because the mouths *do* need feeding and the mundane work done. But there has to be a way that doesn’t leave one as disconnected from the greater world as I feel at the moment. You’ve got me thinking.

    • Good to hear! I’m with Lorna on this one – everything and everywhere can (and probably *should*) be sacred and about connection. The path to making it that way is complicated, though, and not easy with our modern lives. Hmm. I might re-read ‘The Practice of the Presence of God’ – it’s Christian, but it the best guide I’ve found to living the life of a mystic (and it’s short, and by a 17th-century Carmelite monk who was mainly responsible for things like sweeping the kitchen floor in the monastery. Awesome guy).

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