A Bard dwelt by Mabinogi
under flickering tapers
carving tales of childhood
and curses written in Latin into lead strips.
Each day the dew sat heavier on the trees.
The Picti drank heatherale on the hillock.
His musings floated on the warm north wind
while Druids gathered mistletoe.
His state of nature became inert
amid magical happenings each morn.
From Sulis meting out her glorious power
to talking birds alighting on his bee-hive hut.
The Celtic divinities were angered and tested him.
They plunged him into the Otherworld to reflect.
He swam in the waters of their pagan well
grasping the bitter taste of death.
They cast him out where he fled southwards
towards the lower hills and plains.
He dashed naked between the intertwining forest
and prayed upon the burial mounds of the past.
In his dreams he saw gold, silver and bronze
among the battered shields, swords and helmets.
A Christian Chalice tempted him to quench his thirst
and he consumed the bones of Celtic Saints.
He sliced the poison tongue of Nementhga
with the quill of his mysterious quest.
It spurted the deepest of inks and spat,
Let the heads of the dead be a consolation to the Warrior.
He crept past the tendrilled lair of dragons
where the ground rumbled beneath him.
Fairies danced beneath the grassy mound
and Cathbad sensed then the Bard's soul was lost.
The land was awash with salty tears
so Duanin Gacha used mythical ancestry
to conjure up the bubbling, mourning sea,
that the spirits might swirl the Bard Westward.
The Wave Maidens beached him in Wales where he wept.
A dark lake suddenly rippled with the purity of Olwen
and she bathed him in her peace with lapping care
till his cheeks coloured like the red deer.
A giant mountain fir sprouted by his side
and cradled him in its bough grumbling,
I would rather his body was smashed to pieces on the sharp rocks
but it is not his time. Take your rite of passage and never return.
The Bard travelled home reciting fresh Celtic themes.
While drunk on the mead of his own poetry,
he re-entered Alba, appearing sober for his adventure.
but his joy was soon overshadowed by the skull of a Nordic sky.
In the distance, Thor threw his mighty hammer
and the Bard immediately dispersed the reams of his baleful conceit.
He clutched the fertile land as he kissed the last sheaves of paper,
forever lost to Nostalgia where only spoken myths endure in the land of mortals.