Pregnancy is perpetual. There are countless births every millisecond. The Earth is always with child. Our ground is antenatal again. The unspoken garden draws breath to speak some more.


Imbolc was an important celebration in ancient times. It was originally a pagan festival in honour of the goddess Brigid. She is associated with fertility, wisdom, fire, light, crafting and poetry.

Brigid was abducted by Christian myth-makers, rebranded as a saint, and given a feast day at the same time of year. 

Imbolc falls roughly midway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox and is celebrated usually on 1st or 2nd February. In Pagan tradition, because the day was deemed to begin and end at sunset, the celebrations and observances would sometimes start on 31st January.

Imbolc commemorates the changing of the mythical goddess from the Crone to the Maiden and celebrates the first signs of spring, i.e. the first sprouting of leaves, the opening of crocus flowers etc.

The missive

The unspoken garden has whispered its rites since it was a wild meadow.
This year is just the same.
The light is growing, the days stretching, invention gestating.
It is rebinding, and inspiring.

The Bani-shed is a birthing place
The inside outside
A crafty womb
Where I go out to enter in
A den
The purpose of which
Brigid would ken

She was from the earth
So they said
She was not canonised
But stayed in the sacred ground

The rhubarb rises

The crocuses come

The hazels bud
The secret gardener is snipping stalking ivy
And counting birds
Before they breed

Robins yell their territorial claims
Wimp the lion is newly smug in this year's coat
We'll soil his posterior
The goddess will mane him

The Bani-shed twitches
In the tepid sunlight
Over Brigid 

The unspoken bird count

Seen landed within one hour in the unspoken garden and reported to the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch survey 2022:

7 Goldfinch
4 Wood pigeon
3 Magpie
3 Blackbird
2 Blue tit
2 Coal tit
2 Sparrow
2 Dunnock
2 Collared dove
2 Chaffinch
1 Black-headed gull
1 Jackdaw
1 Robin
1 Ringed-necked parakeet

The latter is the first time we have included that species. So prevalent in London and other cities, it appears now to be probing into Preston. 

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More crafted musings can be unearthed in:

Dig here to peep inside The Atheist’s Prayer Book

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