Patterns and Dust

Passing through eternity,
Through the cycles of infinity.
Things grow and flourish,
Decay and die,
Each end a beginning,
Each beginning and end,
Sometimes the same end,
The same beginning.

Circles and cycles of history,
Repeating, rhyming:
Patterns in the fog,
Order in the chaos,
A lotus flower in the swamp.



Painted & Tattooed Faces


Qritani, Pritani
Cruithne, Britani
Painted Picts
Give Britannia her name.

Nemedian prince
From the dark Formorians flee,
From Éirinn to Albainn fly,
Immortal Alba’s consort,
Prydein’s uncle and king,
Seven sons; Seven kingdoms
Ruled from the mother’s line.

Six brothers and a sister,
Continental Pictones flee
From unwanted advances in Gaul
To the open arms of Eire.
One brother died before they left,
Sister died on the way,
Only brother Gub and his son
Made it to the end.
Shipped off to Alba with Irish in-laws.

Caledonian strong
Never conquered by Rome.
Angles, Saxons and Jutes
Kept on their side of Hadrian’s wall
Until “Nobles” sold them out
For titles, land and some gold.

Together with worthy neighbors:
Gaels of Dál Riata, Britons of Strathclyde,
And others, under Cináed mac Ailpín,
Scottish forever more.


Pronunciation key:

Qritani = Kri-ta-nee
Pritani = Pri-ta-nee
Cruithne = Crew-ith-nee
Britani = Bri-ta-nee
Éirinn = Air-in
Albainn =Al-bane
Prydein = Pri-dane
Pictones = pict-o-nees (I think)
Eire = Aire-eh
Cináed mac Ailpín = Sin-aide mic ale-pin

Note: The illustration was found on WikiMedia Commons. Description: “Pict (or Caledonian), who lived in northeastern Scotland in Late Iron Age / Early Mediaeval times. As represented in a 19th century book.” Source: William Howitt, John Cassell, John Cassell’s Illustrated History of England: From the earliest period to the reign of Edward the Fourth., Editor: John Frederick Smith, Publisher W. Kent and Co., 1857. Page 6

Under the Cover of the Shadow of Night

A journey through history
Before time out of mind
Sifting through the shadows,
Never knowing what you’ll find.

Searching the trails, listening to tales
Written before writing things down,
Looking for original, authentic and real:
Words of infamous renown.

From before the wars
Up through modern times
Absorb and digest every bit
Of these ancient author-less rhymes.

Together we traverse this life,
Shipwrecks on a stormy sea,
Under the cover of shadowy nights,
Where fallen angels live carefree.


Three From Illinois

three from ill

Lawyer, Warrior, Constitutional Scholar,
American presidents three.
Kentucky, Ohio, Hawaii born,
Springfield, Galena, Chicago home.
Lovers of life, liberty, freedom, and family
Defenders, protectors, believers
Of our diverse union of souls and states,
More perfect that any other on Earth.

Abolitionist, Unionist, Civil Rights Activist,
A dream of a country healed;
People no longer owned as property,
Protector, dream nurturer, country reconstructor,
Reputation ruined by revenge seeking reconstruction killing racist
And history book rewriters.
A dream personified in a country still bearing
Civil War scars and nightmares of the past,
A dream expanded: equality and equity for all.

Captain, General, Commander-in-Chief,
Manning the wheel through the straits in a storm,
Commanding from horseback in private’s coat
With stars sewn onto it,
Leading with humor, dignity, and grace,
Educated, intelligent, but never elitist,
Never pompous nor pretentious,
Never giving up or in,
Ground may be lost today,
But we’ll lick ’em tomorrow.



Time before human memory, trading gills for lungs
Crawling onto dry land, into holes and up trees,
Growing legs, fur, tails and tiny little brains
That would soon be far to big for a birth canal.

Out of the trees, walking on two feet,
Hands free for carrying, nose picking and tool making.
Lower back pain discovered and bequeathed
To future generations for free.

Out of Africa around Mediterranean: north.
Cousins walk east until it becomes west,
Reunited when shortcuts are sailed.

Families become tribes, become communities, become villiages,
Become cities, become states, become countries and empires.
Gatherers become hunters, become farmers, become craftsman and artists,
Become citizens, become soldiers, become pawns of powerful men.

Brain growing visionaries become shaman, become oracles,
Become poets, prophets, philosophers and priests.

Curiosity, thirst for knowledge, need to understand
The world around: how it works and why.
Turn inside: who am I? What am I?
Realize that you to must one day die.

Needs become wants, become desires, become suffering,
Fear to lose, fight to keep, to steal, to fight, to kill and wage war.
Accumulate things, power; wealth.
Chase fleeting moments of sensory pleasure.
You will still one day die.
Try to avoid the inevitable; suffering is unavoidable.
Slave to desire, pleasure and greed can never really be free.
Sage, divorced from desire, seeking power over only his self,
Can never be anything else.

November 2016

The Dragons of Dinas Emrys


Gwrtheyrn, Vortigern, traitor king of Britain,
Fleeing savage Saxon soldiers, mercinaries
He hired to harrass Picts and Scots on the coast,
To the ruin of us all.

Flee to Gwynedd, scoundrel king
Build a fortress to protect from your sins.
But the towers won’t stand,
Battlements built in the day,
Lay in rubble by the morn.

“The foundations will not hold,”
The sorry king is told
Wise men try to suss the reason why
Else thier crafty king will surely die.

Wise men, such as they are,
Suggest slaughtering a fatherless child,
Blood soaked foundation stones, they say
Will stand strong against Saxon spears.

Emrys, a boy, is found fatherless in faraway Moridunon,
Birthplace of Madman Myrddin, who some say he is,
Though born of Morfryn the sylvan seer was.
Emrys Wledig he was, others say,
Though that Emrys’ father the Royal Roman purple wore.

Die the boy did not, no matter his father’s fate,
He saw true, a visionary he was, the cause of the king’s grief:

Under the hill where the fort was built,
A pool containing two vases, together stuck.
Within the vases a tent, within the tent
Two dragons of old, placed here for safety
By old king Lludd in bygone days.
For the warmth of the tent two dragons faught,
Fighting disturbed the dirt above,
Weakened the foundation, toppled the walls.

“The red dragon is Briton and ours,
The white dragon is Saxon and thiers,”
Young prophet Emrys did advise,
“The tent is your kingdom,
Fight for it they do, fight for it you must,
But not here and not now.
This land is mine.”


Pronunciation Key:
Emrys = Em-riss
Gwrtheyrn = Gwerth-eye-urn
Gwynedd = Gwin-eth
Myrddin = Mer-thin
Morfryn = Mor-Frin
Wledig = W-led-ig
Lludd = H-looth

Image:Illumination of a 15th century manuscript of Historia Regum Britanniae showing king of the Britons Vortigern and Ambros watching the fight between two dragons. Via WikiMedia Commons