Thursday, 15 May 2008
The Song of the Star Lark
Where I live every summer from around the start of May for about three weeks, Nightingales sing outside my windows.
The other night when I was laying in bed all I heard at first was the screams from my neighbours having another drunken fight, then the sounds of a baseball bat smashing car windows in the car park. This happens most friday and saturday nights. To be honest its more entertaining than the TV, so I just lay back and listen to the chaos of modern working class lives.
Then as the screams faded away and the silence returned, drifting magically into the void came the songs of two nightingles singing in the darkness.
This poem is based on that experience, the contrast between the chaos of this world and magic that exists but that few ever notice.
The Song of the Sky Lark.
There is an Otherworld beyond this mundane cell,
Beyond the bars of Abred and its lies,
Known to those seers who can see,
As Annwn a sacred place, a magical space,
Where rhyme not reason rules,
And where the old gods still await errant souls,
That choose to walk into their world,
And all that you need to know,
Is that in order to find it,
You need only seeks its beauty.
Languid on a breathless May eve bereft of all breeze,
In the torrid tyranny of a sultry spring night,
As hot as the fires of Beltane ablaze on the hills,
As if under a spell I lay late into the hours,
Entranced by the songs of two nightingales,
Drifting in on a dream through my open window,
Duelling in the dark groves of a nearby nemeton,
Troubadours of amor, ancient bards reborn,
Shaman of Awen, of purest form and vision
In the feathered guise of sacred star larks,
Awing once more upon the wheel of Abred,
Serenading the stars and beautiful Belisama
Moon bright queen in her dark celestial bower
Wife of fiery Belinus, King of all the Britons.
Lovers come a courting in the verdant Spring,
Challengers for the benificence of the goddess,
Hiding in the hawthorn blossom amidst its fragrant flowers
They sing not for eros but amor, agape as purest spirit,
The spirit of prophecy, transcendent paens,
Sung with joy and pride, so perfect that all the gods listen
And the stars cease their journeys and gather,
From their throats flow a sublime cacophany,
A blizzard of sounds, fountains of notes erupting,
Whirrs and whistles blowing, bubbles and corks popping,
As thrilling as a running river, quixotic and protean,
Intoxicating notes and tones, sudden rising and falling,
And rushing streaming trills, sounds ever flowing,
Audacious and familiar, yet divine and entrancing.
On and on the poets of amor, bards of the gods,
Druids of the Tuatha De Dannan, Lords of the Sidhe,
Singers of the forest folk led by mighty horned Herne,
Dispensed the mead of spirit from their throats,
To all who seek the blessings of Belisama,
Barely pausing to draw the merest breath,
Amidst the shee-gaoithe haunted glades,
Of yew and oak amongst the holy groves of old,
Yet few still seek the wealth of the gods,
The only precious gold that this world offers,
That all wise men should ever seek to own,
To meet with the Gallicenae, nine in number, who stand guard
With Lavaten around the cauldron of Cerridwen,
From where Taliesin once stole enlightenment,
For there awaits the fifth treasure of the Grail,
The purest emanation of Awen, the bardic paen,
For those with soul enough to claim the prize,
Until the moon threw down a fulgent beam,
That silvern pierced the gloomy night,
Alighting upon the chosen one, whose wings unfurled
And rose upon that empyreal pillar of light,
Into the shining clouds of glittering Gwynvyd,
Ascending into the Otherworld, reborn again a bard
to sing with golden harp forever in the halls of the gods.
The bards have fled,
winged away into the dull darkness,
The song has ceased,
The spell is broken,
The gates have shut,
The gods have gone,
And all that remains is the mystic echo,
Forever in my soul.