Celtic Music Reviews

December 12, 2011 - It isn't often that we are able to purchase an item for our pleasure while simultaneously supporting a very worthy cause. But I'm happy to say that here is such a golden opportunity.

"Brìgh na Nollaig", which translates "Essence of Christmas," is a fantastic collection of Gaelic Christmas carols performed by some of the very best artists in Scottish traditional music. The album was produced and licensed to Highland Hospice by Eyeline Media Ltd and MG ALBA, and is comprised of songs originally recorded for broadcast on BBC Alba as part of their watch night services. None of the featured musicians have received a fee, which means that all profit from sales of the album will help Highland Hospice to deliver palliative care to patients and their families all over the Highlands, free of charge. Having personally experienced the dedication of hospice staff who lovingly cared for my own dying loved ones, I can attest to the merit of supporting this very worthy project.

The CD may be purchased directly through Highland_Hospice

Below is an overview of the songs and artists included on this fabulous project:

1. Julie Fowlis, "Bha Buachaillean An Duthaich Shear" ("There Were Shepherds in an Eastern Country"), written by Kenna Campbell, arrangement by Anna-Wendy Stevenson.

A beautiful carol, this is a perfect to start this amazing collection. Julie is one of the more popular Gaelic singers of our time, having ignored well-meaning advice suggesting she pursue a career in more mainstream music. Rather, Julie has remained true to her roots and the Gaelic language. Now she is busier than ever and still finds her inspiration and creativity from the music, history and culture of her homeland.

2. James Graham, "A'Righ Nan Righrean" ("King of Kings"), arrangement by Bruce MacGregor.

James treats us to a taste of his impressive vocal range with this lilting Gaelic treasure. This young man's talent isn't unappreciated, as he was nominated twice in the category of "Best Gaelic Singer" at the Scottish Traditional Music Awards. In 2007 James won the coveted Mod Gold Medal in Lochaber, the highest accolade for men’s solo singing at the Royal National Mod. Having won the 2004 BBC Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year Award--the first male and first Gaelic singer to do so--James is well on his way to becoming one of the best-loved Gaelic singers of our time.

3. Flying Fiddles, "Rhoda's Air/Tune For Senna," arrangement by Flying Fiddles.

The Flying Fiddles--comprised of Christina Campbell, Ealasaid Dick, Lachie Dick, Mairi Gilfedder, Amy MacAulay, Eilidh MacLeod and Kirsty MacMillan--is a group of young musicians from the Islands of Uist in the Outer Hebrides, off the West Coast of Scotland. Over the past few years they have performed at many high-profile events including the Celtic Colours festival in Cape Breton, the Celtic Connections Festival, Martyn Bennett Night, and the Edinburgh Fiddle Festival. This waltzing instrumental is a real testament to the wonderful talent this young group has been blessed with.

4. Margaret Stewart, Julie Fowlis & Paul McCallum, "Ainglean Chuala Sinn Gu H-ard" ("Angels We Have Heard on High"), arrangement by Anna-Wendy Stevenson.

This is the traditional carol sung by Julie Fowlis, Paul McCallum and Margaret Stewart in Gaelic, lending an old-world charm to the beautiful song set to the music of "Gloria," originally arranged by Antonio Vivaldi. Sure to be a favorite.

5. Kathleen MacInnes & Bun-sgoil Ghàidhlig Inbhir Nis, "Fada Cian Ann An Staball" ("Away in a Manger"), arrangement by Bruce MacGregor.

This charming version of the traditional carol has radio/TV personality, actress and singer Kathleen MacInnes singing along with children from Bun-sgoil Ghàidhlig Inbhir Nis (Inverness Gaelic Primary School). Kathleen performs the song beautifully, but that comes as no surprise, as Scots Trad Music Awards presented Kathleen with the Gaelic Singer of the Year award in 2006. The song closes perfectly with the sweet quality of the children's voices providing accompaniment in the background.

6. Margaret Stewart, "A'Leanabh Ghil Mhilis" ("Oh, Bright Sweet Child"), translated by Margaret Stewart, arrangement by Anna-Wendy Stevenson.

A native Gaelic speaker, Margaret has performed at such prestigious avenues as The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Willie Clancy Summer School in Co Clare in Ireland, Sidmouth International Festival, The Highland Festival, Blas, Celtic Colours in Cape Breton, and Celtic Connections. She remains faithful to her native Gaelic, continuing to study Gaelic song at Edinburgh University. For this wonderful addition to the album, harp and violins accompany Margaret in a sweet inspirational melody.

7. Inverness Gaelic Choir, "Tàladh Chrìosda" ("Christ's Lullaby"), conducted by Jamie MacGregor.

Scottish Gaelic Christmas carol "Tàladh Chrìosda" (also known as "Tàladh ar Slànaigheir"--"Lullaby of our Saviour") is performed fantastically by the Inverness Gaelic Choir (Còisir Ghàidhlig Inbhirnis). The choir has been performing for over 70 years, but has more recently been prominent in the Gaelic music community thanks to a diverse program and innovative approach. In the last 12 years the choir has really made an impact, winning the prestigious Lovat and Tullibardine Shield five times at the Royal National Mod.

8. Maggie MacDonald, "Bha Sneachda Na Chuibhrig" ("The Snow Was Like A Coverlet"), arrangement by Bruce MacGregor.

This song comes from a Gaelic poem that tells the story of Mary and Joseph seeking shelter the night Christ is born. Powerfully performed, this haunting piece will draw you back over and over. Sung by Maggie MacDonald from the Gaelic group Cliar, her her talent for puirt-a-beul, or mouth music, is evident here. Maggie comes from a long line of talented Campbells of Greepe in the island of Skye--one of the most famous and accomplished families of traditional Gaelic singers in Scotland. And Maggie has certainly continued the tradition, having been awarded the prestigious Gold Medal at the Royal National Mod in 1994.

9. Julie Fowlis, "Ann am Baile Rìoghail Dhaibhidh" ("Once in David's Royal City")

Julie's version of this song is stunning in its purity, but it's no wonder. As a member of the sextet singing group Dòchas, voted Best Newcomer at the Scots Trad Music Awards in 2004, Julie herself was nominated for the Best Gaelic Singer award. She won the Horizon award at the 2006 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Folk Singer of The Year 2008 and was nominated for the Folk Singer of the Year award at the 2007 awards.

10. Bruce MacGregor & Caledonian Canal Ceilidh Trail, "Midwinter Waltz/Christmas Eve", arrangement by Bruce MacGregor.

This is a fun detour from the more traditional songs on the album. Arranged by the incredibly talented Bruce MacGregor, this collaboration begins with the pleasantly soft Midwinter Waltz, leading seamlessly into Christmas Eve, a surprising foot-stomper. Bruce has had a multifaceted career that has, among other things, included a four-year stint with the band Cliar, founding the band Blazin Fiddles, starting an award-winning fiddle school Blazin' in Beauly, working in various capacities at the BBC, and running an adventure farm near Inverness called Bogbain. On top of all that, he continues to play rugby in his "spare time."

Accompanying Bruce is the Caledonian Canal Ceilidh Trail, which showcases talented young musicians who play in a variety of locations in and around the Caledonian Canal and Loch Ness, stretching from Inverness down to Neptune's Staircase at Banavie. Now in its 9th year, the CCCT is brought together by The Highland Council’s Education, Culture and Sport Service.

11. Paul McCallum, "Leanabh An Aigh" ("Morning Has Broken"), arrangement by Anna-Wendy Stevenson.

Anna-Wendy Stevenson lends her love of harp and fiddle to this arrangement, artfully sung by tenor Paul McCallum, who comes from a talented musical family. His grandfather was a well-known and highly regarded violinist and his aunt was a classical pianist. His cousin Byron is an accomplished guitarist and has many compositions to his name. Paul himself has won two gold medals at the Royal National Mod, and has been said to have "the voice of an angel."

12. Lews Castle College, Benbecula, "In the Bleak Midwinter/Heights of Casino," arrangement by Anna-Wendy Stevenson.

This musical interlude is the crowning gem of this album. While certainly not traditional Christmas fare, the pairing of the instrumental version of the Christmas poem "In the Bleak of Midwinter" with a peaceful rendition of the piper's march "Heights of Casino" was a brilliant move. The fine arts college, located on the Isle of Lewis, caters toward musicians, even boasting several of its own recording studios. This tune certainly flaunts the college's accomplishments.

Celtic Radio Contributor


Artist:  Flatfoot 56
CD/Album:  Black Thorn
Old Shoe Records 2010

From one of the coolest cities in the States comes one of the hottest punk bands in recent memory. Hailing from Chicago, IL, Flatfoot 56 was started in 2000 by the brothers Bawinkel: Tobin (vocals/guitar), Justin (drums), and Kyle (bass). Originally a three-piece punk band, the group eventually expanded their genre to include Celtic, adding Josh Robieson to bring mandolin and bagpipes to the mix. Josh left the group last year, opening the door for Eric McMahon (bagpipes/guitar) and Brandon Good (mandolin/guitar), long time supporters and friends, to join.

It won't surprise you to know that Flatfoot 56 is not only a hard-hitting punk band, but because of the addition of the bagpipes, they are also considered a Celtic band. And you might not be surprised to find that they can also be categorized as hardcore and screamo. But it might shock you a bit to find out they are also a Christian band.

The fifth album from this incredibly talented multi-genre band, "Black Thorn" is the rare music set that you can listen to dozens of times and never get bored, although you might just find yourself a wee bit tired from all the foot-stomping and heart-pounding.  If you think you're too old for this music, then it's time to drag out the Hoveround and take up residency in south Florida, because you're going to miss out on the chance to recapture that youth who is still head banging and crowd surfing in your memories.

Here are some song highlights:

The Escape -- A very short intro, from the very beginning you realize this is the type of eye-opening drum heavy music that can easily replace caffeine in your morning wake-up routine.

Black Thorn -- Reminiscent of "Rawhide", you can close your eyes and imagine yourself racing across the southwest desert on a sweaty black steed, the Texas Rangers hot on your trail.

The Hourglass -- Holy Hindu, Batman, is that a sitar? No, it's a mandolin! Sounds of the Middle East resonate throughout this happy foot-stomper. I can see belly dancers and taste the curry.

Courage -- A very emotional tribute to those who sacrifice greatly for their families, you can count on getting choked up with this one. "Not because of a movie or a magazine, but because of your example you inspired me. Sacrifice in the midst of pain, I get a tear in my eye when I hear your name." Although this is the longest song on the CD, it's one that will leave you wanting more. Hit replay. Then look for the moving video on YouTube.

Smoke Blower -- Justin belts out the hard-hitting lyrics, of standing strong and not being swayed by the "big bad wolf." Makes me want to go kick some… More bagpipes (which I happen to be particularly fond of) in this one.

We Grow Stronger -- Heavy bass and throaty vocals from Kyle, along with exotic strains from the mandolin, mark this one. Mid-way through, the band seems to take a breather, softening the melody a bit before slamming you once again with their power. With thought-provoking lyrics such as "through our weakness we grow stronger," this one is sure to get you thinking.

Son of Shame -- This starts out sounding like a "typical" lyric-based Irish story-telling song, but quickly the drums kick in, reminding us this is Celtic Punk, after all.

Way of the Sun -- While the instrumentation is, as expected, top-notch, it is the lyrics that make this one great, such as "My joy is my strength, I’ll ask for nothing more." This song brings a lot of joy. Can't ask for much more than that.

Shiny Eyes -- This showcases Tobin's vocal talents, with his wife, Jane, adding her sweet voice to the mix. This song is less punkish, leaning more toward a lover's ballad. It will leave you wondering why Jane doesn't sing more with the band. Warning: Expect shiny eyes while listening.

Stampede -- I would classify this as screamo Paddy punk with background pipes, edgy guitar and of course, heart-pounding drums. An awesome, well, stampede, thundering over your eardrums.

You Won Me Over -- This is one song on the CD you can definitely dance to. Great riffs. Justin pounding the drums. Lyrics that give you pause. Tobin's husky, sexy vocals. What more could you want?

Born For This -- If I could pick one as a favorite, it would be this one. It reminds me of my misspent youth (think "Breakfast Club"). Ah, I lift my glass to those good times.

Hot Head -- Justin belts this one, the hardest and last of the set. It mixes just about every one of the elements found in the other songs--smoking Mid-Eastern sounding mandolin, hardcore-punk drums, a bit of screamo, hard-hitting flaming guitar riffs. A fitting end to an amazing musical romp.

After listening to the entire CD in one sitting, I'm not sure if I want to go find a mosh pit to work off some of the energy I've absorbed, or if a nap would be better. Maybe both.



July 5, 2011 -- Burning Bridget Cleary joined the world of Celtic music on St. Patty's Day in 2006 when, by what I would like to think was divine intervention, a group scheduled to play at a house party was unable to make the gig and father/daughter duo Lou and Rose Baldino stepped up to the plate. The duo was joined by Genevieve (Genna) Gillespie, Rose's childhood friend. Funny enough, it was Genna's family's group, Gilly's Hedge, who couldn't make it to the gig that fateful night.

The trio has embraced what I like to think of as a North American phenomenon wherein the Irish Celtic groups on the west side of the pond sound "more Irish" than the Irish groups do. This is certainly not meant as an offense to any Irish groups playing Celtic music, but is just a personal observation. I believe this stems from the Yanks, et al, striving to stay true to their roots, whilst the Irish, their feet already planted firmly in the cultural soil of their homeland, feel they have more freedom to musically explore their musical fence lines.

BBC certainly makes excellent use of those Celtic roots, as "Totes for Goats" clearly proves in each track. From hauntingly vocal-sounding fiddles to the deep heartbeat of the bodhrán and soul-wrenching D whistle, the very best in musical Ireland is represented here. BBC also has a recent welcome percussive addition of Canadian Peter Trezzi, who is heard on about half of the songs on "Totes for Goats." In prior works, Lou had the added duty of providing percussion when featured artists weren't available. By adding the explosive talent of Peter, Lou is now a bit freer to compose and concentrate on exploring his considerable talent for the guitar.

Oh, and let's not forget that this is the group who won the 2009 Celtic Music Radio award for their album "Everything is Alright." I fully expect "Totes for Goats" to follow closely in the success of that album.

A few comments on each of the album's tracks:

1. Where's Pete, The New Copper Plate, The Old Copper Plate, The Scholar
(featuring Nate Godshall on the bodhrán)
The first track on the album is a dance set that grabs you and makes you realize you are going to have to set aside the next forty-five minutes to listen to the album in its entirety. Typical of the traditional Irish dance sets, each song effortlessly flows into the next so you really aren't sure where one ends and another begins. This set showcases the wonderful fiddling talents of Genna and Rose.

2. The Elfin Knight
A traditional Scots ballad, this updated rendition is a foot-tapping endeavor and you quickly find yourself singing along. Mid-song, the tempo picks up with a southern rock element being added with drums and electric guitar, offset by the lilting voices of Genna and Rose. This is one of my favorites.

(featuring Nate Godshall on the bodhrán)
The second dance set on the album, this one includes a quiet jig. The set brings to mind lords and ladies dancing a quadrille in a gilded ballroom while the wallflowers sip punch on the sidelines, hoping for their chance at a spin around the floor.

4. The King and the Fair Maid, Moses the Goat
When Genevieve and Rose harmonize on this track, you feel like you've been transported to the edge of a faerie glen, peeking through the bushes to secretly witness a sacred celebration filled with twirling dances and foot-stomping joy. This is a hundreds-year-old song with such humorous lyrics as, "Farewell my king, you've been generous and fine. What has been between your legs is now between mine," and is sure to become a favorite.

5. The Unfortunate Rake Set, The Unfortunate Rake, The Boy in the Boat, Jimmy' Groove
Number three of the album's dance sets features acoustic guitar that seems to sing unwritten lyrics. The Unfortunate Rake truly highlights Lou's amazing talent. This is the most haunting of the dance contained in this album.

6. Nead Na Lachan Sa Mhuta ("The Duck's Nest In The Moat")
Nate Godshall earns his keep on this one with the necessary addition of his bodhran. Siddharth Bhaskar joins in with the haunting D whistle. With Lou's guitar, the fiddles and the girls' Gaelic harmonizations, this is a toe-tapper that makes you wish you could riverdance.

7. Jigs for the Gangly Sort: Cameron's Twinkle, Trip to Spektor
This dance set starts out with lilting fiddle with acoustic guitar accompaniment that is quietly unassuming in the background, yet the instruments trade off, with the guitar becoming the focus while the fiddle seems to relegate to the background. Joseph Plowman once again joins the group with his throaty bass. These jigs have an edge that make them something fun to dance to.

8. Lament for Emil
Haunting soul-filled fiddle from Genna and Rose impregnate this song with a depth that needs no lyrics. In listening to this heart-wrenching song, I could imagine a Jane Austen moment as the heroine stands upon a rocky overlook, her long skirts and hair whipping behind her, watching the sea hopelessly for signs of her long-lost love who will never return.

9. The Blacksmith
The edgy guitar melody at the beginning of The Blacksmith sets the stage for the haunting vocals that tell the age-old story of love found and then lost. Rose and Genna harmonize beautifully in this rendition of an old English folk song.

10. To My Wife, Short and Sweet
Very beautiful and, true to its name, short and sweet at only thirty-nine seconds. This tune says "I love you" in the best possible way. It definitely leaves you wanting more, so you'll have to put this one on repeat.

11. The Fort: Are You Ready Yet, The Return to Miltown, The Fort of the Daft Woman
The last dance set on the album is probably the most fun. With acoustic guitar off-setting the fiddles, this one has a rock feel to it. Warning: With the addition of electric bass, this becomes a knee-slapping foot-stomper that could cause accidents if you listen to it while driving.

12. The Connemara Shore
This is the only song from "Totes" with Lou singing the lead. This track is reminiscent of sipping a pint in a quiet pub while being lulled by James Taylor in the background. Lou has a very pleasant voice, although it seems the melody is in a key a bit too high for him, lending a near-falsetto to his vocals. This is a beautiful song, however, and if you listen closely, you could swear you can hear the sea spray as it shatters against the crags along a lonely seashore.

13. The Cuckoo
When the song starts with the sweet notes of the fiddle, you might think it's a Celtic rendition of "How Great Thou Art," but the upright bass talents of Joseph Plowman intrude and catch you off-guard, and soon you find yourself swaying in your chair, eyes closed, wishing you had lyrics to sing along to.

No matter which song becomes your favorite, this album is certainly one you will do well to grace your Celtic collection with. Who can go wrong with fiery fiddlers, rocking guitar riffs, a percussion plethora and smoking vocals?

Celtic Radio Contributor

FAUN has finally released a new CD, and in this reviewer's humble opinion, it was well worth the wait.

Entitled "Eden", the composition is a collection of ballads, lullabies and dances that takes the listener on a romp through the Garden of Eden and beyond. The album is filled with poetry and joy as well as melancholy, taking you by the hand to lead you by cool waters, over green meadows and rolling hills, and even leads you to carefully tiptoe by a darker presence.

From the very beginning of the CD you are drawn in by the haunting melodies that permeate this musical story. Not only bringing their offerings of lilting, soulful harmonies, Oliver s. Tyr, Fiona Rüddeberg and Margareta Eibl also stun the listener with their multi-talented instrumental repertoire. Add to the mix the pounding beats from Latin-trained percussionist Rüdiger Maul, as well as the mixing and synthesizing genius of Niel Mitra, and Faun's "Eden" is a true tribute to the heavenly musical gifts that leave us mere mortals sitting in gaping appreciation.

Let me offer a brief song synopsis:

Lupercalia -- The perfect beginning to draw you in, Fiona and Margareta bring to the table a platter of tempting morsels sure to tempt you to stay for more.

Zeitgeist -- As Lupercalia drew you into the album, this one keeps you there. In Zeitgeist (loosely translated as "the tides and times"), Oliver lends his beautiful vocals as Rüdiger keeps the pace moving along with his percussive talents. This song is the only one on the album that has a more modern feel to it.

Iduna -- A joyful hand-clapper, "Iduna" is one of those rare songs that crosses cultures, bringing everyone to their feet to dance elatedly around the campfire.

The Butterfly -- As the name implies, this is an instrumental flutter through a meadow, darting from buttercup to orchid. It ends abruptly, though, leaving me with the impression the butterfly met up with a bullfrog.

Adam Lay Ybounden -- Along with amazing harmonizations, tambourines and flutes give this a renaissance faire flair. My favorite.

Hymn to Pan -- Oliver starts this one, his voice lulling you to join Pan and the nymphs in a twirl around the faerie glen. You can actually hear him smiling as he sings.

Pearl -- While this beauty has a Hebrew influence, it's quite amazing how well the bagpipes fit into this one. A real tribute to the instrumental talents of the group.

Oyneng Yar -- Rüdiger shines on this one with über-drums. Circle the wagons; this is going to be a wild Gypsy party.

Polska fran anderson -- Another talent-showcasing instrumental that leaves you breathlessly in awe of the group's amazing abilities.

Alba -- This gem is haunting. While no translation is necessary to understand the sadness and remorse evident in Oliver's storytelling, this one makes me wish I had taken German instead of conversational Spanish in school.

Ynis Avalach -- A montage of many of the different instruments the band members play, again the listener will be stunned by the group's plethora of talent.

Arcadia -- A bolder dance with a slight mid-east taste, Fiona and Rairda vocally skip through the meadow on this one as images of a storm brewing dart through the listener's mind.

The Market Song -- Oliver is joined by Fiona and Rairda to relate the sights and sounds of market day. Fiona's bagpipes take flight mid-song, switching to flute near the end, adding a real Celtic design to this.

Golden Apples -- If Arcadia reminds one of a pending storm, the first impression of Golden Apples is the cleansed earth after the after the storm. Beginning with birds sweetly chirping, the melody quickly changes to something darker. I could almost see the serpent slithering around the tree as he tempted Eve. A perfect ending to this treasure.


Short Stuff

My Daddy


Shivers ran down my spine as I raced down the stairs at the speed of light…well, maybe not that fast, but I'm pretty sure I broke the sound barrier. That was not the usual "Mommy! I spilled a pitcher of Kool-aid in the living room!" Or, "Mommy! I want a grilled cheese sandwich with pickles!" This was a pain-filled scream, the type that mothers the world over dread hearing.
I don't know how I knew just where my four-year old was, but I ran immediately to the toy room under the stairs. She had managed to slam all her fingers in her toy cash register's drawer. As I hit the "Cash Out" button to release the drawer, I was struggling not to laugh. Not so much from the hilarity of the situation, though. After the images of impalement and missing appendages that had run through my mind while I was racing to her side, seeing eight little fingers pinched was, well, a relief. 

Weeks later while spending some quiet time with my Father in the car, I was reflecting on how my big things must seem so trivial to the Creator of the entire Universe.  How unimportant all those things that worry me must be to Him…the appointment with a new doctor; my car needing new tires and not having the funds; gas prices (well, I'm pretty sure that the current gas prices worry even HIM!); all those little things that seem so huge in our lives, how tiny when placed in the perspective of watching over billions and billions of souls. But, what about all my pains! The times I've been hurt…the object of hateful gossip; being told I was an "afterthought" to God…after all, Adam was created first and Eve wasn't thought of until Adam needed a helpmate (he probably couldn't find his fig leaf and Eden needed cleaning), therefore, women are "afterthoughts (don't worry, I got over that one!); being rejected by people I loved; and on and on.
"Still, how trivial my pain must be to You," I told Him while driving.

Then I was suddenly reminded of the eight little "boo-boo fingers" I had kissed as I held my little girl on my lap and wiped her tears. Sure, those little pink pinched digits were trivial in comparison to what horrid fates I had conjured in my dash to her side, but because she was hurt and I loved her, I wanted to make her feel better in whatever way I could.

"How much more I love you. You're MY child."

WOW! That "thought" slammed me between the eyes so hard I almost hit the car next to me. Yes, I know it was my Dad speaking to me, because the voice in my head was so loving and gentle, soft and soothing. My eyes filled with tears as I realized that my "stuff" IS important to Him…the Master, Creator, Savior, Lover of the Universe. He does care what goes on in my life, from the tires on my car to that person at church who is talking about me behind my back.

The magnitude of this was just starting to sink in when my thoughts were interrupted by "Mommy, can you sing 'Muffin Man'?" coming from the back seat. 

Smiling, I said, "Sure, baby…Do you know the Muffin Man…"

Thank You, Dear Heavenly Father, for letting us know how much You love us, how important all our "stuff" is to You. You are such an awesome, gracious, loving Savior! 

Wet Moths

I just took a shower with a bug. No, not my husband—a moth. I think they're called "Millers."  You know the type—ugly, brown, fly around your porch light and dive bomb your guests when they leave your Friday night Bible study.  I didn't mean to take a shower with a moth—I was standing there, minding my own business shampooing when I saw what I thought was a giant locust fly through the shower curtain.  After the appropriate girlish squeal, I realized it was just a poor, defenseless moth, not a crop-devouring plague of Egypt. 

After watching the poor thing flop around and flutter his wet wings in desperation, trying in vain to half fly-half crawl up the side of the tub to dry freedom, I reached down and scooped him up, kind of enjoying the tickling of his wings against my hand (you notice I keep referring to the moth as "he;" perhaps I'm a bit biased, but I don't believe any female of a species would intentionally fly into a "cave" with flowing water splashing about—it's a known fact that females do not like to be splashed, something every male discovers at about age ten). I tossed the moth out of the shower and onto the bathroom floor, watching him flutter his wings in a desperate attempt to dry them. "Silly thing," I thought. I've got eight 60-watt makeup lights in my bathroom (I'm still seeing spots…I just got up to go count them. Seriously). He could very well have flown up near the lights and stayed warm and dry, instead of trying to shower with me.

Resuming my suds quest, I was startled when just mere moments later, the stupid creature flew BACK IN with me! I watched as it dragged its soaking body behind a shampoo bottle, trying to avoid the deluge. It left a powdery trail behind as it crawled. "Oh, my gosh!" And I'm actually speaking to the moth here—out loud—"How many times am I going to have to rescue you?!" 

The thought of the Lord saying the exact same thing to me (well, maybe minus the "Oh, my gosh" part) over and over again in my life came to me. "How many times…" all the financial fiascoes, the failed relationships, the countless times I've opened my big mouth and inserted my not-so-tasty foot…How many times? And, like the moth, I fly straight into the danger again and again, ignoring the wonderful Light that I should be circling. If only I had just looked up, saw the Light, and flown straight to it…my wings would be dry, my body would be warm, and I wouldn't be in danger of drowning. 

I should mention here that the moth got out of the shower and the cat ate him.

Old Poems--So many more, if only I could find them

Missing You

That cloudy autumn day when you said you wanted to go
I cracked and shattered, my heart began to slow.
What had I done, what did I miss
To make me so easy for you to dismiss?

The miles aren't many that keep us apart
Only a day away, but an eternity to my heart.
Light of my life, the joy of my days
I love you and miss you in so many ways.

Have you forgotten me, my beautiful little Bug?
These arms are still aching from our last sweet hug.
The tears still surprise me, I thought they would end
But the fountain of pain brings a new flood again.

The miles aren't many that keep us apart
You're a day away, but it's an eternity to my heart.
Light of my life, the joy of my days
I love you and miss you in so many ways.

When the sun shines brightly and warms your face
Remember my arms holding you in a loving embrace.
If you lie in bed and feel afraid of the night
Think of me whispering softly "It'll be all right."

The miles aren't many that keep us apart
You're a day away, but it's an eternity to my heart.
Light of my life, the joy of my days
I love you and miss you in so many ways.

Think of me as you watch the dawn break the sky
I'm watching it too, a tear in my eye.
And at the end of your day, please say a prayer
For the one who is waiting, this pain trying to bear.

The miles aren't many that keep us apart
You're a day away, but it's an eternity to my heart.
Light of my life, the joy of my days
I love you and miss you in so many ways.

(c) Vickie Jenkins 2012


To My Savior
Safely tucked away behind my clever disguise
I watched my life as it passed me by.

Yearning at times to step from behind
Revealing the me hiding deep in my mind.

Yet, so afraid of what they might see
I fearfully chose to just stop to be.

Then along came a Knight who gently asked
If I might like to see without the mask.

So tender was He as He helped take apart
The facade I had built to shield my sad heart.

This life is so bright without the disguise
That protected my view, yet blinded my eyes.

If only I had known I would thrive in the light,
I'd have done so before. Thank you, dear Knight.

(c) Vickie Jenkins 2012


If Only

If only you could know

the feeling I have that grows

each and every time we love

                             it never seems enough.

If only I could sing

          the song to me you bring

of seaside shells and soulful flowers

                             of making love ‘til the morning hour.

If only you could see

          the love you’ve given me

how my heart cannot contain

                             all the joy erasing pain.

If only I could share

          more moments now so rare

                   with my love, my life, my friend

                             I want this feeling to never end.

If only we could slip away

          to a secret place to lay

in each others arms always

                             forever loving to the end of days.

(c) Vickie Jenkins  2012


Life That Should Have Been

I lived a life of tears...
Bitterness ruling all those years.
Fear and indecision became the norm
like a fresh sailor braving a first storm.

"He's out there," I thought at the start.
"I just haven't chanced upon the keeper of my heart."
But hasty choices made while impatience reigned
Darkened my heart with regret's cruel stain.

Fear became resignation and loneliness abounded.
"Happiness is not to be had" my mind often sounded.
Then came You, friend for a time, emotions tightly held.
And I wondered of a place where love actually dwelled.

The twinkle in those dark, soul-filled eyes
Led me to wonder if I could capture that prize.
The love of a lifetime, found by so few.
Dare I to dream I have it with You?
(c) Vickie Jenkins  2012