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.

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Merlin

Merlin, oh Merlin,
Where did you go?
To search for the sacrificial Raven
And the battle hardened crow?

Did Nimue trap you
In a damp dirty cave?
Are you dreaming ‘neath the hills of Prydein
Of all the lives you failed to save?

But could even you have stopped the slaughter,
The disaster on the fields of Camlann,
The blood drawn, the kingdom lost,
On that wicked day destiny damned?

You put Arthur on the throne,
Twas history that threw him down,
Leaving only pale pretenders
To try and grasp Prydein’s crown.

Merlin, oh Merlin,
Was it worth the cost,
That brief shining moment,
Now forever lost?

9/6-9/27/18

The Raven and the Eagle

ornament_with_eagle2c_100-200_ad2c_roman2c_gold_-_cleveland_museum_of_art_-_dsc08277

The legions of the Eagle come
To the bless’d Raven’s home,
Shackled the land and the people,
Burning their sacred groves.

Eagles live in Aeries of gleaming gold,
Yet covet a raven’s humble tents,
Thirsty for glory and hungry for power
For no sake but its own.

Yet the Raven resisted, fighting
Alongside the Lion of the north,
And the Dragon of Red,
Refusing to go quietly
Into that good-night.

The Eagle placed the Lion
Behind a guarded wall,
For fear he might get bitten,
Or crushed by a mighty paw.

The Dragon and the Raven
He smothered together
Under the yoke of his love,
Until the day his aerie collapsed
Under its own bloated weight,
And all that was left to fear
Was the coming of the Blood Red Dove.

9/4/18

Bran the Blessed

Bran, blessed crow,
Revered raven,
Son of the seas,
Brother of Branwen,
Defender of honor,
Keeper of the cauldron
Of life.

Gave Branwen’s hand
In marriage to Eriu’s land,
Revoked once the abuse
Of the King was clear.

After the battle
That broke his sister’s heart,
His disembodied head,
Cleaved from his neck
By a friend,
Talking and joking,
Keeping his comrades company
On the long
Journey home.

After 87 years
The sorrow settles in.
A silent head
Laid to rest
Under the White Hill,
Gazing toward Gaul,
Protecting and defending
Even in death.

7/6-7/7/18

Painted & Tattooed Faces

caledonian-pict

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.

2/17/17

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