30 April 2013 a post by Simon Marshall

A Rising Fire - Poems for Beltane and Pentecost

Beltane is a season of growing strength, of passion and of the fertility of the approaching summer. It is a time to seek new inspiration which will inspire our work and our creative lives. It is also traditionally a time of cleansing and revitalising, so that the coming summer months will be all the more fruitful and fertile. It seems natural, then, that the most significant elemental symbol of Beltane is fire.

wild goose symbol of holy spirit

As the season of Beltane arrives, so too does the Christian festival of Pentecost (sometimes called Whitsun), when the coming of God’s Holy Spirit upon the Church is celebrated. This, too, is a time for seeking renewal and inspiration. Christians offer prayers for God’s Spirit to revitalise their spiritual lives, to give them new energy and insight, and to purify them so that they may live more fruitful lives.

There are beautiful connections between Beltane and Pentecost. As the sun increases her presence in our lives at this time of year, it seems natural to open ourselves to the life-giving properties of fire and Spirit. As we begin to spend more time outdoors, we become more aware of the fertility and growth of nature and of our own growing creativity. And as the sun gives physical energy to living things and increases their activity, so we may want to call upon the Spirit to increase our creativity and to give us spiritual energy.

These poems are a reflection upon the symbols of sun, fire and Spirit and the images of fire and Spirit and the themes of rising energy and inspiration. This first poem speaks of the power and life-giving energy of the sun.

The Song of the Sun

I am the fire
at the heart of all fire.
I am my own offering,
a self-sufficient sacrifice,
a chalice of flame.

My throne is time and space.
I hold the strings of gravity
to rein in wayward worlds.
I am beginning and end,
light and darkness.
I conjure night and day
from the folds of my golden gown.
Midnight and noon are
the blink of my eye.
I write the story
of summer and winter.

I rise at my command
and, in my daily death,
I give tomorrow birth.
I cross the universe
and humble myself
to find a home
in leaf and blade,
in seed and grain.
I sleep in bough and branch
and dream
of hearth-bound re-birth
and of wakening flame.

This next poem brings together two images often used in the Christian tradition to describe the Holy Spirit: the dove and the wild goose. It adds a third creature, the phoenix, to reflect on the themes of fire, inspiration and re-birth. The poem seeks to connect Beltane and Pentecost, and their giving of spiritual and physical energy.


The dove descends - a dreaming downward dive,
to fall in flames upon a sun-parched earth. 
And, turning through the temple of the sky,
she sings the sacred Spirit into birth.

Upon a path of clouds, the wild goose climbs
to heaven’s high horizon, past the Sun.
She steers by stars and dawn-light’s secret signs;
within her wings the waves of Spirit run.

From feathered flame the fire-bird finds her breath
and leaps to life on wings of liquid gold.
Her sun-dance draws new life from ancient death,
and brings to life a spark from ashes cold.

Come, Sacred Spirit, weave in us your song - 
a melody of sweet celestial fire.
Gift us with wings to speed our journey on;
inflame our hearts, our lives, our dreams inspire.


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Your comments:

Beautiful! Absolutely beautiful!

#1. By Eileen Mitchell on May 01, 2013

thanks Simon evocation of Spirit ;o)

#2. By steve hollinghurst on May 02, 2013

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