Thursday 17 November 2022

Three Poems by Elaine Reardon

The Banshee


Wait for the banshee

to commence her wailing

notice the Washer Women

at the river's edge


The Washer Women prepare

the body      wash him clean

in the waters     loosening

knotted mortal ties


Tears tumble down faces

words are murmured

tea and spirits poured

None speak of the banshee


She raises her arms

calls the departed one

to her side       carries

him into her embrace.





Sleep and stillness cling to my eyes.

Morning light trickles through pine branches

into the kitchen where yeast has raised

soft pillows of cherog dough overnight.

I slide the fragrance of warm yeast

into the waiting oven.


I kept the fire going last night

to coddle the dough,

to be kind to myself.

Now I sit at the window as early fog lifts

in wisps and sip tea.


The world here is quiet, aside from

the faucet dripping and the ping of

the oven as it heats.

Strong tea mingles with the aroma of

rising dough.

Do we not all rise with some redemption,

new each morning?


In other homes people are moving toward family gatherings

or waking to a jumble of legs and arms in unfamiliar beds

while I sit with my ancestors baking this bread.


I receive the old ones and the fragrance and the taste.

I listen to the small kitchen sounds mingling with the quiet outside—

the complete stillness of each branch and leaf,

a warm cup in my hand.





Tail end of autumn

an in-between time

of bare maple branches

scattered dry leaves


A young bear pushes his nose

into heaped up litter

poking through for acorns

coyotes howl in late afternoon


Scattered red berries

dried purple grapes

winter hasnt emerged yet

although shes expected


Garden plots are cleared

in anticipation of her arrival

like a tide line between sand and sea

November separates seasons


Of life pushing out of seed and egg

before returning to ground

November waits for those last geese to fly

holding her cards close to her chest


Listen to water ripple against the shore

and honour Manannán Mac Lir

I have not beaten gold into form

still I place an offering in the water


Manannán Mac Lir is an Irish God. The small golden boat ( circa 100 BC) is part

of an offering to him found in 1896. It's now in the National Museum in Dublin.

Elaine Reardon is a poet, herbalist, and educator. She's worked as an English as a Second Language teacher with immigrant populations, and she is the first generation in the U.S.herself. Her first chapbook,The Heart is a Nursery For Hope, won first honors from Flutter Press in 2016. Her second chapbook, Look Behind You, was published in 2019  by Flutter Press. Most recently Elaine’s poetry and essays have been published in Pensive Journal, Prospectus Literary, Naugatuck Journal, and several anthologies. 


  1. Especially loved “The Banchee”

    1. Thanks so much. Year back my Godmother heard the banshee wailing for me. I had unexpectedly become gravely ill, but she ws 100 miles away, and didn't know. I tought it was rather nice tgo know the banshee was with me.

  2. Congratulations Elaine.

  3. Your wisdom✨ and awareness🌈 expressed in words brings the hope🌿 love and beauty of the presence of mindfulness into full bloom 🌾✨🌾

    1. Thank you so much for you words, a gift in themselves.


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