…and the rent is due.

The Dingle Coast

I would bring him bundles of rushes from the waters edge.
Carry them by hand to the high place, stony Barrule, overlooking the sea.
For Midsummer Eve has come and Manannán awaits his payment.

Only, I am far from those shores.
Arid winds bend prairie grass like waves on an earthen sea,
I am stranded here, landlocked — and the rent is due.

Cliffs at Loop Head

Standing on the very brink of thundering wave and stone,
I have opened my arms, buoyed by winds sweeping from far Emain Ablach.
Lifted a moment, from the rocky cliff, like the Heron King taking flight.

I cling to memories of a rugged coast,
As I choke on the fumes of engines going nowhere.
I am stranded here, landlocked — and the rent is due.

The Tides of Kilkee

As the rising tide sends plumes of white foam into the air,
The sea god’s wife approaches, her soothing kiss, lingering upon my cheek.
They call her Fand, which means “teardrop”, and she tastes like the sea.

We carry the ocean, like a memory, flowing within us.
Weeping, we give it back again, carried home on the Summer breeze.
I am stranded here, landlocked — and the rent is due.

Nothing makes me yearn for the coasts and mountains of Ireland, quite so much as Summer in Texas.  Although this weeks solstice marks the longest day of the year, we know all too well that the hottest days are yet to come.

There has been a tradition on the Isle of Man (that small Celtic nation nestled almost exactly between Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales) that each year, on Midsummer Eve, the Manx would pay their rent (a token sacrifice of rushes or sweet grass) to Manannán mac Lir, the ancient Celtic god of the seas, to whom the island belongs.  I am told that this tradition survived well into the 19th century, if it is not still practiced by a few today.

I hope, one day soon, to make that pilgrimage myself.  I have languished for too long, allowing material limitations and self-imposed obligations to strand me, landlocked, in this spiritually parched domain.  I need only a strong current, a sturdy sail, and the blessings of the ocean god.

Let the tides take me where they will.

12 Comments

Filed under Holidays, Ireland, Mythology, Photography, Poetry, Spiritual Journey, The Gods, Traditions

12 responses to “…and the rent is due.

  1. Thank you so much for this beautiful poem. I had just Googled “Manannan rushes rent” and found it. I too am stranded and landlocked and longing for the green and the sea. I may well use this in my personal worship on the 25th!

  2. May I quote your poem on my blog? (With full credit and a link, of course!)

  3. I love your poem! I shared your post here in my facebook group-
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/creideamhsi/ I wish you a gods-blessed midsummer.

  4. Beautiful poem and very evocative photos to accompany it. Wishing you a very happy and peaceful Summer Solstice. Blessings from SRTB.

  5. Beautiful poem My L enjoyed hearing it as well.

  6. Pingback: Picking up the pieces | Stone of Destiny

  7. Pingback: Prayers | Guide to Gaelic Polytheism

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