The Colours of The Winds

detail, Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775 – 1851)


from the 
attrib. Oengus the Culdee, ninth century


King who ordained the eight winds
advancing without uncertainty, full of beauty,
the four prime winds He holds back,
the four fierce under-winds.

There are four other under-winds,
as learned authors say,
this should be the number, without any error,
of the winds, twelve winds.

King who fashioned the colours of the winds,
who fixed them in safe courses,
after their manner, in well-ordered disposition,
with the varieties of each manifold hue.

The white, the clear purple,
the blue, the very strong green,
the yellow, the red, sure the knowledge,
in their gentle meetings wrath did not seize them.

The black, the grey, the speckled,
the dark and the deep brown
the dun, darksome hues,
they are not light, easily controlled.

King who ordained them over every void,
the eight wild under-winds ;
who laid down without defect
the bounds of the four prime winds.

From the East, the smiling purple,
from the South, the pure white, wondrous,
from the North, the black blustering moaning wind,
from the West, the babbling dun breeze.

The red, and the yellow along with it,
both white and purple ;
the green, the blue, it is brave,
both dun and the pure white.

The grey, the dark brown, hateful their harshness,
both dun and deep black ;
the dark, the speckled easterly wind
both black and purple.

Rightly ordered their form,
their disposition was ordained ;
with wise adjustments, openly,
according to their position and their fixed places.

The twelve winds,
Easterly and Westerly, Northerly and Southerly,
the King who adjusted them, He holds them back,
He fettered them with seven curbs.

King who bestowed them according to their posts,
around the world with many adjustments,
each two winds of them about a separate curb,
and one curb for the whole of them.

King who arranged them in habitual harmony,
according to their ways, without over-passing their limits ;
at one time, peaceful was the space,
at another time, tempestuous.


Translations from Irish Gaelic Poetry into English Prose and Verse 
To Miss Eleanor Knott I am indebted for valuable help in the translation



[with thanks to  for twitter discussion of wind-color]


erasmus delfinErasmus Quellinus the Younger (1607–1678)

The Delphines both rejoice in the echoing shores and dwell in the deep seas, and there is no sea without Delphines, for Poseidon loves them exceedingly . . .

(2nd century)


May Day Flora

from The Book Of The Green Man

flegel spring flwrsGeorg Flegel (1566 – 1638)


Of the seasons,
seamless, a garland.

to equinox –

measured a cock’s stride
come full circle.

The length of
a sequential foliage

firmly planted in
our veins,
we stand in our rayed form:

a chicory,

Sponsa Solis – & upon the sun appears
a face
also with rays

in descent
through an undulant



Ronald Johnson (1935 – 1998)



PereusPiero di Cosimo (1462 – 1522)

Old Stardust

perseus s marco
The Perseids are a prolific meteor shower; the point from which they appear to come lies in the constellation Perseus.
“Perseides” refers to the sons of Perseus.

The stream of debris is called the Perseid cloud. It stretches along the orbit of the comet Swift–Tuttle and consists of particles ejected by the comet as it travels on its 133-year orbit.
Most of the particles have been part of the cloud for around a thousand years.
However, there is also a relatively young filament of dust in the stream that was pulled off the comet in 1865, which can give an early mini-peak the day before the maximum shower.

The earliest information on this meteor shower is found in Chinese annals in A.D. 36. However, credit for recognising the shower’s annual appearance is given to Adolphe Quetelet, who reported in 1835 that there was a shower emanating from the constellation Perseus. Some Catholics refer to the Perseids as the “tears of Saint Lawrence”, since 10 August is the date of that saint’s martyrdom.

The shower is visible from mid-July each year, with the peak in activity between 9 and 14 August, depending on the particular location of the stream. During the peak, the rate of meteors reaches 60 or more per hour. They can be seen all across the sky; but, because of the path of Swift-Tuttle’s orbit, Perseids are primarily visible in the Northern Hemisphere. As with many meteor showers, the visible rate is greatest in the pre-dawn hours, since the side of the Earth nearest to turning into the sun scoops up more meteors as the Earth moves through space. Most Perseids disappear while at heights above 80 kilometres (50 mi)




bot birth v


Albrecht Dürer (21 May 1471 – 6 April 1528) German painter, printmaker, engraver, mathematician, and theorist

Albrecht Dürer (21 May 1471 – 6 April 1528)
Painter, printmaker, engraver, mathematician, and theorist.

Storks have no syrinx and are mute.
They use soaring, gliding flight, which requires thermal air currents, to conserve energy.  Photographs of storks by Ottomar Anschütz inspired the design of Otto Lilienthal’s experimental gliders of the late 19th century.
Their nests sometimes grow to more than six feet in diameter and ten feet in depth.
Storks were thought to be monogamous which is partly true. They may change mates after migrations, and may migrate without a mate. They tend to be attached to nesting places as much as partners.
Their size, serial monogamy, and faithfulness to an established nesting site contribute to the prominence of storks in culture and in mythology.