Posts tagged ‘myths’

25/09/2013

The Shepherdess

 

Beneath a sky of stars and moths

She trails her light through olive groves.

And silences the nightingales.

The stars are stilled, the moon is dimmed.

 

Her breathing draws the warmth from earth,

Her feet float soft as owl’s wings,

She leaves no trace, she makes no mark:

This is her world, this is her night

 

She walks amongst her sleeping flock:

They twitch and flick, but barely move.

They trust her, breathe as one with her,

She guides their dreams to mountain pasts.

 

She is the shepherdess of souls,

Across the streams of Epirus.

 

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27/07/2013

Minotaur on the Moortops

 

He tries to sink back through the earth,

Through iridescent slips of schist,

To where the rock can douse his eyes,

Quench fire of sight, dull iris light.

 

The space – which counts the stars as months,

And judges time by shadow falls –

where lives can howl and show their age.

Each tick of sun and moon: a death

 

Up here, where echoes never start,

He lays down low and feels through peat

The rocks beneath, the subtle heat,

The walls where blood is merged with night.

 

Unfreed, unbound, and lost beyond:

The air is thin and spiked with sound.

 

 

14/07/2013

The Faerie Fears of Next Door’s Dogs

 

The dogs next door are watching bats.

Their pirouetting eyes are fazed,

By moon-dark nightlights glowing sparks,

By flickering wings and siren songs.

 

Beyond their reach the myths are spun,

From bats, to moths, to lunar casts.

Entrancing echoes bounce around.

The violet shades dragged from their dreams.

 

The tendrils of that other world,

Come curling from the undergrowth.

And by the nightlights dogs are turned:

They’re lantern eyed and garish hounds.

 

The faerie demons bite the howls:

And off they run, and how they run.

 

02/06/2013

A Week in Slovenia (Part 2 – Overheard Tales)

 

1.  The Angel and the Buzzard

 

Above the Ljubljana plain

A buzzard wheels, then tips its wings,

Its eyes fixated on a point

Where, in the grass, a halo glints.

 

The angel fell to earth in search

Of Jason and the golden fleece.

Instead he found a world of fear:

A mythless world of worthless wealth.

 

The buzzard lands: it speaks no word.

The angel and the buzzard stare

Into each others’ eyes, and know

They come from better worlds than this.

 

The angel nods, then leaves this world.

The buzzard screams for all it’s worth.

 

 

2. The Forest Man

 

Beneath his canopy of pine –

Far deeper than his stands of beech –

The forest man is moving rocks:

He’s building walls around his tales.

 

His beard: a twist of ivy fronds.

His mind: a mass of histories gone.

He plants his feet with sapling oaks,

He carves the tunes of violins.

 

His walls are taller than before.

They hide the world of dragon’s teeth,

Of golden chamois, witch’s curse,

But still the forest man builds on.

 

He knows our world has lost its myths.

He’ll keep his stories safely hid.

 

 

3. The Shadow Figures of the Vrsic Pass

 

I took the high road through the pass.

The rain and mist whisped round the pine,

Above the trees the clouds touched earth:

I saw the shadow figures there.

 

I moved towards them, they withdrew.

The shadow figures knew the tracks:

They knew them like the hazel grouse.

They padded lightly with the lynx.

 

I saw their faces briefly there:

Beyond the rock face, glaring down.

I saw their questions, wild and raw,

With human eyes and shadow souls.

 

The mists soon closed the Vrsic Pass:

The shadow figures melted back.

 

 

4. The Once Great Dragons

 

Of course the dragons are still here:

What else could make a mountain shake?

What other creature barks at night,

And turns the forest tops to steam?

 

Their fear lives deep within the woods

And writes itself on cavern walls.

Their scales are found on river beds,

Their teeth and claws still scour the land.

 

And in the dark you hear them prowl

The village margins seeking blood.

Their rumbling feet, primeval growls,

Will haunt your sleeping, drifting hours.

 

The dragons curl in caves and cry:

They once were myths, but now they’re lies.

 

 

With thanks to Maja and Luka.

 

 

12/05/2013

Yeti

 

She plumps the furs to make them soft,

Then settles down to share her thoughts.

The image world of snow and rock

Soon takes her to the meeting place.

 

The children play outside the cave,

It’s cold, and bright, and leopard free.

Their voices echo through her dreams.

Across the valley mothers join.

 

One shows an ibex, one a storm,

They share their images and tales:

She visions children playing safe.

The mothers strengthen her embrace.

 

They all have seen the tears of life:

This mountain valley is their space.

 

 

03/05/2013

The Almas

 

The Altai nomads sleep in skins,

And lay hot stones on melting snow.

We know the envy of their souls:

For generations we have watched.

 

Our altars pile from mound to moon,

To seasons of the thousand lives.

We touch horizons deep within:

Beyond the heart, beyond our time.

 

Beneath the grasslands work our roots.

Our feet kiss feet with mirror men.

We feed the sap of spirit pines.

We leave our skins on jagged rocks.

 

We raise our voices in the still:

The Altai nomads fade as dew.

 

 

24/03/2013

Degrees North

 

Beyond the north: a second north.

Beyond that north the memories fade,

And tales take hold of dark and ice,

Of endless nights, of swans in flight,

 

Of dead who walk with mirror step,

Of land where rock will crack and burn,

Of skies that burn, of snows that burn,

Of seas that swell with monster’s bones.

 

Beyond that north, there’s nothing more,

There are no dead, there’s nothing born:

The formless still, the waveless sea,

A void as deep as space is cold.

 

It’s in us all, that silent space.

It’s in our blood, it’s in our graves.

 

 

03/11/2012

The Man Who Knew Too Much

 

Withdrawn again into his words,

His empty casket carved with tales:

“The Legend of His Years at Sea”;

“The Mystery of His Broken Heart”.

 

The Golden Fleece he washed and shrank.

His deities were less than frank.

He knows there’s nowhere left to run,

Yet still his need to flee this place.

 

“An island paradise”, they said.

To him it stinks of rich men’s debts,

And saps like him who pick the tab,

Or pass it on to orphaned kids.

 

So off his little stylus runs.

In fourteen lines: a fake escape.