SIRIDEÁN SÚILEABHÁN – Dark Eyed Searcher
By Sharonlee Goodhand
Legend has it that she with the crystal ball
will come with all the answers…
she, sorceress of southern climes
the Dark Eyed Searcher
and so the seers plot by season & stars
the time of her arrival…
the people wait and tend their roles
and whisper prayers… soon… please come soon
Sirideán Súileabhán sorceress of our salvation…
It is said, that Sirideán reads signs like no other
that her travels in realms unreachable have harvested much wisdom…
Sirideán is the sorceress all sibyls go to for guidance
the sultry Dark Eyed Searcher that all wizards & magi
secretly lust after on moonlit nights …
the one Earthly woman all gods yearn to own…
But it is also said the dark-eyed Sirideán
walks heaven and earth & cosmos alone… a solitary candle in the darkest of nights;
her obsidian eyes can turn a man to liquid, be it smiling glance or death-stare
and it is told, ‘round tavern tables and family hearths
how she is Child with no Birth… but fashioned by Mother Nature’s hand
as Champion to both creature and land and all who live with honest heart….
The villagers of Dáiríne Dell toiled dawn to dusk
so their hamlet could live up to its fertile name
… but rains were poor and for the first time in known history
the Daris River had dried to a trickle of a tear…
all the villagers feared future days… but if truth be told
they feared the coming of the Dark Eyed Searcher more…
… and a runner had arrived, breathless and dusty and almost too weary for words
she comes… he panted… collapsing at the elders feet;
She comes… she comes… she comes
the whisper raced ‘round Dáiríne Dell faster than an Autumn wind
people gathered in the village to speculate and share their prophecies
for doom & gloom or fruitful resolutions … those weary souls still toiling
in soil that blew with the breeze in clouds of fine ground dust
paused in their labours to look up, wipe dirty brows and breathe a sigh…
… she comes… she with the crystal ball and all the answers…
…alas 3 full moons passing did it take before the revered and often feared
Sirideán Súileabhán arrived… silent and without fanfare… she simple appeared
at the High Elders elbow… the wizened old mage fair jumped out of his skin
which spread a grin to every initiate in the hall…
You called… her crystal whisper carried to every ear in the grange
what seems to be the problem, you called my name…
It’s a matter of water, the old mage explained
14 full moons and still no rain… the crops have died
our livestock too… children weep, the old can’t sleep-
- even the forest creatures grow weak…
Your mountain-fed river was designed to never run dry
have you dammed it? Damaged it? Tell me why
the endless river has run dry? Sirideán was not impressed
the freedom of this river must be addressed!
All looked to the elders and paled beneath Sirideán’s stare
nothing have we done, but toil in the sun
an honest day’s work for any good man
day in and out and into the night… we toil for nought
water is our blight… infants cry all through the night
aged soul pass before morning light…
help us revered Lady…. help our plight!
Sirideán’s cold stare made everyone aware just how much for mankind she little cared –
- the Earth’s well-being was her domain and she knew this mountain river
Sempiternal by name
should flow freely despite no rain;
She swept the congregation with keen penetrating eyes… sharp as diamond, clear as dew
leave the matter with me, she scolded, I shall be back when the moon is new!
The village of Dáiríne Dell to pondering silence fell
but thoughts turned dark that day and souls turned grey
as man accused man and sister charged sister with deeds that caused their downfall…
fingers pointed and words scathed … enemies were made that day;
The Dark Eyed Searcher returned when the moon was new
a sliver of silver in the darkest night… the villagers gathered in number
by lantern and candle light…. would there answer to their plight or would this be
the longest night any would see…
Sirideán’s dark eye flashed like onyx… her pupils as sharp as shards
that bore into each man’s soul, and chilled each woman’s heart…
The river is blocked and dammed, Sirideán roared… Mother Earth’s Law you have ignored!
You deny precious water to the village yonder… why is this I wonder?
b .. but … but, Revered One , the elder sputtered … we did not dam the River
the River is our sustenance…. our very life giver!
Nooo…not by You, Sirideán cried… by those in the village you have denied!
… they now divert and channel the water to their dam…. they said you would not share the earth- treasure of water given at birth … and so took what they needed…
the villagers looked to each other… excuse fell from their lips
legend has it the Sempiternal River is ours!
No river is yours! Sirideán exploded… this river belongs to Mother Earth
bequeathed to you to use from birth… did your mother’s not teach you to have a care
did they not teach you how to share!!
… Heads hung low in the village that night… and hearts tolled a heavy bell
sleep did not sooth a single soul in the village of Dáiríne Dell…
Revered One, the elder finally whispered as dawn broke through the trees
we understand our error… help us please! Our children grow weak… the aged no longer speak
silence is our only song… please help us to make amends and right what we have wronged!
Sirideán gazed intently, into every face and mind… she saw remorse and fear in hearts clear
and a hunger in each child’s eye… Sirideán sighed…
Very well, she said at long last… put the past in the past and make amends this day…
go all, to your neighbouring village… with them you will toil until the dam is gone
and from this day forward, forever and on, the river is of free spirit… and share it you must
never taking more than you need, in Mother Earth put your trust
this mountain-fed river was designed to never wither, but nourish all who come in need
for our Mother Earth, in all her wisdom, just can’t comprehend human greed.
SIRIDEÁN: Irish Gaelic name, possibly derived from the word sirim (“to seak”), hence “searcher.”
SÚILEABHÁN: Old Irish Gaelic name composed of the elements súil “eye” and dubh “black, dark,” and a diminutive suffix, hence “little dark eyes.”
sibyls - A woman who tells fortunes … prophets … vaticinators (ancient Rome) a woman who was regarded as an oracle or prophet.
DÁIRÍNE: Feminine form of Irish Dáire, meaning “fertile, fruitful.”