A Song of Taliesin (Revised & Expanded)

I was a grain of wheat
In Cerridwen’s belly
That grew into a man.
Gwion Bach devoured,
Reborn with a radiant brow.
She sought to inspire
And I was inspired.
Inspiration meant for another,
But fate had other plans.
I stirred her Cauldron of Awen,
Its contents burned
Opening eyes and mind.
I was there
When the universe
Was a white-hot grain,
And will be there
When it is an ice-cold cloud
Spread thin by time.
I was there
In the valley of Rhun,
Before the years had been numbered,
By the shores of sunlight
When the fair ones
First gazed upon the trees.

I saw the sword of light
Forged by the sons of Twerios.
I saw the son of Vandar
Buried in the earth.
Family fragmented
Along the shores dispersed

I was there
When the flood waters came
And Cessair by Bandba was saved.
While Elfhame vanished
Under the waves.

I saw sister Alba
Lost in a foreign land.
Rescued by a knight
From the end of the world,
Reunited with her mother
She would be.

I was there
When Bran crossed the sea
To restore his sister’s honor.
I heard steel strike steel,
I saw the blood river run.

I sailed home
With Manawydan and Pryderi
To bury the king’s head
Facing the foreign lands.

I was there
When Degfed and Lleu
Sailed to Elfhame’s remnants
To make uncle Nudd whole.
The Sword of Light
And hand of silver flesh
Wielded against his brother
To restore their uncle to the throne.

I saw the black blades forged
By twerger hands alone,
For Caswallawn
And the wealthy wolf
To drive the dark ones
From their home.

I saw a king
Seduced by chaos,
Abandoning justice;
Giving rise to a Dark Queen,
Dressed in green,
Bathing a kingdom
In self-indulgence,
Decadence and greed.

I was there
When Albrennin
Threw down his cousin
By the black blade of Blaidd,
Watching his sea fortress burn,
A fire he lit
From a far younger land.

I watched
As he walked away
Into wilderness,
Into legends and dreams.

I witnessed his seed,
Clothed in white,
Bathed in light,
Wisdom at her side,
Rise from the Reinos
To reclaim the land,
Replanting the sacred oak.

I was there
When the sons of Nemed landed
At the mouth of the Ituna.
Welcomed by fair Queen Uonaidh,
As if she’d been expecting them
All this time.
Giving them her kingdom
And her daughters,
As Prydein gave his name
To the land.

I was there
When Lludd and Lleflys
Found the dragons
Whose screams filled the land.
I saw them bound and buried
So that, by Emrys,
they later could be found.

I saw the Raven’s brood
Fighting amongst themselves,
Clawing for control.
I was there when they delivered
Prydein’s precinct
Into the talons of the Eagle,
To be wrapped in chains
For its own protection.

I was there
On the Shady Isle
Watching the sacred oak groves burn.
I felt the druidic tears
Fall into the fires.

I was there
When the Eagle fell,
Diseased from within,
Devoured from without.
Abandoning us
To our own devices.

I saw the traitor king
Try to tame the White Dragon
To fight off the pirates
Of Alba and Éire,
Wedding its spawn,
To the damnation of us all.

I saw the coward king
Fleeing to the west
With his wisemen,
To the castle whose walls
Would not hold.

I was there,
I saw the fear in his eyes,
When young Emrys
Foretold his fate.

I was there
At Badon
When Arthur earned his name.
I heard the cheers,
I smelled the blood,
And I knew it wouldn’t last.

I was there
On the Prydwen with Arthur,
Sailing to Eire or Annwn,
To rescue, to pillage,
And to have glory got.

I was there
At Camlann,
I saw Arthur fall.
Misunderstandings and murder,
Disintegration of the land.

I was there
When Gwion Bach
Stirred the Cauldron of Cerridwen
For an entire year.

I saw him burn,
I saw him alight.

I saw him devoured,
I saw him reborn.

I was there
When Elphin found the babe
And raised him as his own.
I heard him give the boy a name:


Note: This is a revised and expanded version of A Song of Taliesin, which I posted last September.

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