Celtic Images of Water and Wood
1. Alder Zodiac Sign: March 18 – April 14 (the Trailblazer)
The alder tree near the river purifies the soil.
Everything is fluid and in balance.
Its roots are in water and land,
and under its roots are trout and salmon.
Leaves decompose in the water to feed the fish.
If only we were so generous and provided shelter.
Tranquility is something that nurtures everything.
The alder lives in two worlds of air and fire.
When things are in balance, they swim
as leaves across the soil like fingers messaging
until our body becomes air.
We can burn alder until it is red-orange,
turning into charcoal, for forging metal,
then cool it in water.
The cycles of things are always in balance.
You are a trailblazer.
A person so confident in themselves,
others will follow.
2. Willow Celtic Zodiac Sign: April 15 – May 12 (the Observer)
You are container of wood and moon.
The Willow is used for intuition to understand the things around us.
What do we know after all? Nothing!
Things pull at us, from different directions.
The Willow is flexible, able to bend without breaking.
How many times have you had to bend over backwards?
No wonder you ache. No wonder there is heat in your spine.
The message here is to be adjustable in life.
Follow your spiritual path, no matter how it wavers.
Always remember: testimony is a part of survival.
A Willow thrives in the most perplexing circumstances;
its broken branch can take root in a marsh.
You are an observer.
Take your time noticing things
until they become amazing,
watery as morning.
3. Reeds: Oct 28 – November 24 (the Inquisitor)
It grows over 20 feet tall in swamps.
It connects and networks
long before we gave these words new meanings.
It was woven into thatched roofs lasting decades,
remaining after the builder had died.
How many people you know are this loyal?
Reeds are a natural insulator,
useful in cold, wet months that pull out of the earth
until we cannot seem to take any more of it
and still, more cold comes, air thin as reeds,
until we would forget the word for “warm”.
Reeds have a faint sweet smell,
so the Celts would use it for floors
deodorizing the house. Reeds were used for candles,
or whistles for poets, or for visions
especially useful for seeing beauty
in the most common-looking. Sometimes,
in the swamps, they make their own eerie noises,
otherworldly voices, much like a mother-in-law.
Sometimes, it is a matter of asking questions.
Since you are connected to everything,
you know secrets. Find the hidden through layers,
but avoid gossips and their hollow words.
You would make a good historian or detective,
and interpreting people, sometimes manipulating them
like water does to land. Make truth tall enough to see.
Martin Willitts Jr is a retired MLS Senior Librarian living in Syracuse, New York. He has an echapbook with Barometric Pressures: “Late All Night Sessions with Charlie “the Bird” Parker and the Members of Birdland, in Take-Three”(A Kind Of a Hurricane Press, ebook, 2013). His forthcoming poetry books include “Waiting For The Day To Open Its Wings” (UNBOUND Content, 2013), “Art Is the Impression of an Artist” (Edgar and Lenore's Publishing House, 2013), “City Of Tents” (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2013), "A Is for Aorta" (Seven Circles Press, e-book, 2013), "Swimming In the Ladle of Stars" (Kattywompus Press, 2013), ) and he is the winner of the inaugural Wild Earth Poetry Contest for his full length collection “Searching For What Is Not There” (Hiraeth Press, 2013).