Magdalene with the Smoking Flame
La Madeleine a la flamme filante
Georges de La Tour
What must it have been like for her,
sweet sixteen, betrothed by her father
to the King of Ulster?
Wanting a different life, a rebel,
she prayed that her beauty
be taken away.
When ordained God gave
Brigid back the eye he had taken
in her veiling.
Her path was of milk and flowers
and the purity of her soul
was a great gift the Christians said,
but pagans recognised her witchery,
the magic of the miracles
and the splendid power of tales.
Her light lit the chambers of Tara.
Divinity was Imbolg, in the belly,
Spring’s flint, Candlemas,
Lá Fhéile Muire na gCoinneal,
a Mary of candles, goddess,
cloaked keeper of the grail.