Optional Music: Carlion


(Misty, © 1995, Williams, from DigArtz.com)

Rhiannon Speaks

Merlin, are the cobwebs gentle
against your skin? Is the dark serene?
Does stone upon you mean security?
Is that why you're still there
centuries past our anger?

I give it up; I'm tired of being dead
for all my sins.
Spring air still makes me drunk -
come breathe with me?

But Keridwen of the Cauldron
clips cat-food coupons
and frets over unmade beds.
Odin One-Eye stalks the supermarket
cursing the communists,
looking for muscatel.
Shiva the Destroyer
bought a switchblade and shaved his head;
he curses monotonously.

And you, you curl among shadows,
cuddling your own guilt,
while stars rain down and turn themselves to stone.

Merlin, I'm not the weight upon your chest.
Take your hands away from it and walk!

I always said you were a hard-headed man.
image from DigArtz.com

NOTES: Merlin was the counselor of King Arthur. Nimue was a woman who locked him into an enchantment, just before all Camelot broke down. The Merlin/Nimue thing has been variously interpreted as "Conniving wench seduces dear old man" and "Dirty old man gets his comeuppance". Considering most human relationships, it was probably more complex than either picture.

According to folklore, the Welsh called Nimue "Rhiannon". Since I haven't the foggiest notion how to pronounce "Nimue", I substituted the Welsh name.

Keridwen was a Welsh goddess, keeper of the Cauldron of Life. The dead, put into the Cauldron, would live again.

Odin, who was blind in one eye, was the Head of Household for the Norse pantheon.

Shiva the Destroyer was a Hindu god. What he was the god of is left as an exercise for the student. Return to poem


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