Merlyn

The mountains are alive with fire,

transcendent breath, vigorous and endless.

Though they have been given a name,

a part of them will always be nameless,

and I could say the same about myself.

I heed the call, after all, of mist-laden glades.

I walk among stones with broken blades.

I come to you, mountains of fire,

full of so many things that matter,

yet they will not matter to you.

I come to you as a whittler of days,

a world-worshipper who knows he cannot fool you.

I come to you as a man who has a boy still looking

out from behind the bars of his rib cage.

I come to you with an owl on my shoulder

who comes and goes as she pleases.

I come to you as a failed magician,

with iron, ash, light, dust, rain

on either side of my skin.

I come to you as a failure, but at least I am a great one.

I come to you with the meaning of my name,

do with it what you will.

I come to you as the recorder

of my small life, pockets filled

with scribbled notes

of little use.

 

Water Wheels

Did you see the old gypsy woman?  Did you hear her kindly greeting?

She spoke in hushed tones of a winding path,

and she winked at your bones by the village bath

where our skins grow dark beneath my Lord, the Sun –

where we’re bound together, where we join to be One

with the wheels of the water, the moon and stars.

There shall never ring laughter so bold, such as ours.

Merlyn

I had fun writing this.  I kept imagining Merlyn’s sense of himself as an ordinary failure, as a powerful being who is nevertheless human.  I really wanted to try and capture the notion that he knows all this information about himself that we’re not privy to, leaving room for the reader’s imagination to draw any conclusion it wants about the details of the legendary wizard’s past.

 

Merlyn

The mountains are alive with fire, transcendent breath, vigorous and endless.  Though they have been given a name, a part of them will always be nameless, and I could say the same about myself.

I heed the call of mist-laden glades and walk among stones with broken blades.  I come to you, mountains of fire, full of so many things that matter, yet they will not matter to you.

I come to you as a whittler of small days, a worshipper of whale bones.  I come to you as a man who has a boy still looking out from behind the bars of his rib cage.  I come to you with an owl on my shoulder who comes and goes as she pleases.  I come to you as a failed magician, with iron, ash, light, dust, and rain behind the cellar-door of knowledge.

I come to you as a broken lover, a woman’s hair still caught on my sleeves.  I come to you with the meaning of my name, do with it what you will.  I come to you as the recorder of my own life, pockets filled with scribbled runes of little use.

 

Away To Callaloo

Away we went to Callaloo,

where the sea is a glittering diamond

that never goes to sleep,

and the rising sun brings promises

no one could ever keep.

With empty pockets,

me and you,

away we went to Callaloo.

 

Away we went with naught to lose,

where water falls in clear cascade

wherever it is able,

and buttered toast with marmalade

is on the breakfast table.

With broken dreams,

just me and you,

away we went to Callaloo.

 

Away we went and left our shoes

to try their fruits and steaming stews,

to see what their tomorrow brings

we left our shoes and other things,

to walk the sand and eat ice creams

with empty pockets and broken dreams,

just you and me, and me and you,

away, away to Callaloo.

 

The Girl With Many Secrets

 

Weaponless, her face hidden beneath paint, a rucksack slung across her glistening back, she sets out alone again, through the twilight of morning.

Two tired jewels, she and the sickle moon both fade into the horizon, noiseless phantoms.  All day she presses through mist and wind, crossing cloud-shadow and rain-shadow strewn recklessly over the earth.

The storm withdraws at evening’s approach.  All is luminous with the rich gold of a falling sun.  Smoke rises from the roof of a house in the valley below.  She regards her destination grimly, arriving moments later on the doorstep, pausing for a sharp breath.

She is a master of fire, let it be known.  Someday she’ll have the world at her feet.

She is the One.

 

Wedding Song of the Faeries

My heart shines from its place in my breast,
a candle in a mist-bound wood,
to know you’re not like all the rest,
to sing your name soft as I could.

To sing of sage and stout tealeaves
while we roll among the heather,
to wander over root and branch
on woodland paths that wind forever.

Where every thicket hides a sprite,
and daffodils float here and there.
Where moon and star shine twice as bright
and wise ones council everywhere.

To sing your name soft as I could,
to know you’re not like anyone.
A wedding in a lighted wood,
a first kiss given beneath the sun.