Folktober challenge day 5

For all the contributions and to see the ekphrastic prompts, please visit Paul Brookes’ blog.
Here is my poem, inspired by the image of a Leprechaun.

The dwindling of greatness

They had faces like the sun,
hair black as midnight
or bright as spun gold.

They had magic in their blood
and every bone, bird-bone, hare-bone
and the long bones of the deer.

They were feather and star-light,
proud as the antlered hart,
wise as the oldest salmon,
and flowers sprang in the prints of their feet.

They were music and poetry,
sweet as honey, dark as the ocean,
and their words shaped the world,

but they shrank in the cold
sin-washing of the priests,
twisted by the conquerorโ€™s mockery.

They took their magic to another place,
bright, green and blue as river water,
and in their place, they left a gnome.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

30 thoughts on “Folktober challenge day 5”

    1. The fairy folk that ordinary people believed in were anathema to the Catholic Church so they invented grotesque parodies. The Aos Sรญ dropped out of folklore and were replaced by ugly little gnomes. Suited the Church and gave the English something to laugh at.

    1. I know we hear an awful lot about cultural theft, but it happened everywhere. It’s what colonisers do. The Catholic Church was only too happy to go along with it, suppressing all remnants of the old beliefs. It’s all gone a bit pear-shaped, finally.

      1. My next book, Fairies, Myths, & Magic II – A Celebration of Winter, I explore the women of Yule. It’s been a fun research project. It’s amazing how much Christianity “borrowed” from the Pagans.

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