John F McCullagh
John F McCullagh
Dec 31, 2013      Dec 31, 2013

The moon in shadow lay
in solstice's midnight hour.
Distant stars gave off dim light
how feeble seemed their powers.
Dark cloaked Druids skulked about,
They moved from tree to tree
gathering the mistletoe
for their dread ceremony.
Primal terror filled my veins,
the blood borne juice of fear.
What should happen to you and I
if the Priests should find us here?

The solstice, a lunar eclipse and perhaps one drink too many.
Not much of an excuse for verse, but perhaps as good as any!
I saw a Druid watch the sky.
Goldie
Goldie
Jun 20, 2013

On a tall stone bridge below the falls
I saw a Druid watch the sky.
The wind teased the branches of the great tall oaks
their leaves a shattering sound
like the skirt of a gypsy dancer.
How still the Druid seemed! Unmoving 'midst the breeze.
I asked him what he sought among the hills at twilight.
Not a word he said, but motioned with his gnarled staff
To thick grey clouds above the highest peak.

{Druid.} What would you, king of the proud Red

{Fergus.} This whole day have I followed in the rocks,
And you have changed and flowed from shape to
shape,
First as a raven on whose ancient wings
Scarcely a feather lingered, then you seemed
A weasel moving on from stone to stone,
And now at last you wear a human shape,
A thin grey man half lost in gathering night.

{Druid.} What would you, king of the proud Red Branch
kings?

{Fergus.} This would I Say, most wise of living souls:
Young subtle Conchubar sat close by me
When I gave judgment, and his words were wise,
And what to me was burden without end,
To him seemed easy, So I laid the crown
Upon his head to cast away my sorrow.

{Druid.} What would you, king of the proud Red Branch
kings?

{Fergus.} A king and proud! and that is my despair.
I feast amid my people on the hill,
And pace the woods, and drive my chariot-wheels
In the white border of the murmuring sea;
And still I feel the crown upon my head

{Druid.} What would you, Fergus?

{Fergus.} Be no more a king
But learn the dreaming wisdom that is yours.

{Druid.} Look on my thin grey hair and hollow cheeks
And on these hands that may not lift the sword,
This body trembling like a wind-blown reed.
No woman's loved me, no man sought my help.

{Fergus.} A king is but a foolish labourer
Who wastes his blood to be another's dream.

{Druid.} Take, if you must, this little bag of dreams;
Unloose the cord, and they will wrap you round.

{Fergus.} I See my life go drifting like a river
From change to change; I have been many things --
A green drop in the surge, a gleam of light
Upon a sword, a fir-tree on a hill,
An old slave grinding at a heavy quern,
A king sitting upon a chair of gold --
And all these things were wonderful and great;
But now I have grown nothing, knowing all.
Ah! Druid, Druid, how great webs of sorrow
Lay hidden in the small slate-coloured thing!

By the Druid stone that was placed just for me,
Ormond
Ormond
Oct 15, 2013

I came to a courtyard of my own making,
To a cottage by the sea at the worlds edge.
I furnished it with my left over life, complete,
Barren and colorless and I wrote the newest
Book of psalms out of tinder and flame, a tome
Of grey and useless poems, unheard of songs
And reams of flesh.  There in the lightest dark,
By the Druid stone that was placed just for me,
I planted a creeping yew tree.  And the moon
Sang in celebration and silence like a fallen
Priest.  
                    Under the covering hazel trees,
That sprung to life after the longest winter,
Which taught me to forget my name, I now
Struggle with light and my body, warring, torn
Is fading slow, like the always arriving, down
Turning solstice, the climates of the mind,
Where it is digging the never ending shallow
Hole only the spreading eternal yew, that I
Planted, will ever know and only the Lazarus
Moon shall ever rise above.

I came to a courtyard of my own making,
Was it dream that led me there or my eyes?

Aeronwy came from a Druid clan
David Lewis Paget

She’d lived alone since her husband left
Just after the fall of Rome,
Deep in the forest she’d kept herself
In the tangle of trees called home.
He’d left with one of the Legions, they
Recalled to defend the State,
Leaving Britain with Roman roads
And her people, left to their fate.

Aeronwy came from a Druid clan
From a mixture of kings and gods,
She’d never age in the forest glade
Where she lived with her hunting dogs.
She lived on berries and lived on fruits
And the kill that the dogs brought in,
But knew she never must see herself
Reflected in any spring.

‘For if you do,’ said a holy man
‘You will see that the years are fraught,
Your spells and philtres won’t help you then,
You’ll lose what the ancients taught.
The years will tumble over your breast
In a wave, and take your breath,
As long as you live in this vale of trees
You will be immune to death.’

She wept for the loss of her husband then
For he never came back home,
She didn’t know he’d been taken off
With his Legion, back to Rome.
They’d met when a hunting party came
To slaughter her Druid clan,
But she was spared, for her beauty there
Would entrance most any man.

He’d stayed with her in the forest glade
For a month of making love,
She prayed that he’d never leave her, in
A plea to the gods above,
She little knew of the world out there
Of the waning Roman’s might,
And so she wallowed in bitter tears
In her loneliness, each night.

Her time was not as the time for us,
Her minute was like our day,
The years would fly in her restless nights
As she dreamed her life away.
But she woke as fresh and as beautiful
As she’d been the night before,
While scores of agues and deadly plagues
Swept on, in a world at war.

The forest began to shrink as men
Fed wood to their kilns and fires,
What once had been a forest became
A wood, in the sight of spires,
She heard the clang of hammers on steel
At the factories rise and rise,
And soon her trees were surrounded by
New roads, and telephone wires.

Then men came into her forest glade
While cutting a new canal,
She hid in the corner, in the shade
As her trees began to fall.
One day she woke and the cut was there
With a little hump-backed bridge,
She mounted slowly, up to the top
And balanced over the edge.

She gazed down into the water that
Was still as a mirror’s sheen,
And saw the face that began to race
Through the thousand years she’d seen.
Her hair flew wide, and before she died
She muttered a weary moan,
‘I’d be content if it only meant
That my husband came back home!’

David Lewis Paget

By the Druid stone that was placed just for me,
Ormond
Ormond
Jun 28, 2012

I came to a courtyard of my own making,
To a cottage by the sea at the worlds edge.
I furnished it with my left over life, complete,
Barren and colorless and I wrote the newest
Book of psalms out of tinder and flame, a tome
Of grey and useless poems, unheard of songs
And reams of flesh.  There in the lightest dark,
By the Druid stone that was placed just for me,
I planted a creeping yew tree.  And the moon
Sang in celebration and silence like a fallen
Priest.  
                    Under the covering hazel trees,
That sprung to life after the longest winter,
Which taught me to forget my name, I now
Struggle with light and my body, warring, torn
Is fading slow, like the always arriving, down 
Turning solstice, the climates of the mind,
Where it is digging the never ending shallow 
Hole only the spreading eternal yew, that I 
Planted, will ever know and only the Lazarus 
Moon shall ever rise above.

I came to a courtyard of my own making,
Was it dream that led me there or my eyes?

By the Druid stone that was placed just for me,
Ormond
Ormond
Oct 13, 2012      Oct 14, 2012

I came to a courtyard of my own making,
To a cottage by the sea at the worlds edge.
I furnished it with my left over life, complete,
Barren and colorless and I wrote the newest
Book of psalms out of tinder and flame, a tome
Of grey and useless poems, unheard of songs
And reams of flesh.  There in the lightest dark,
By the Druid stone that was placed just for me,
I planted a creeping yew tree.  And the moon
Sang in celebration and silence like a fallen
Priest.  
                    Under the covering hazel trees,
That sprung to life after the longest winter,
Which taught me to forget my name, I now
Struggle with light and my body, warring, torn
Is fading slow, like the always arriving, down
Turning solstice, the climates of the mind,
Where it is digging the never ending shallow
Hole only the spreading eternal yew, that I
Planted, will ever know and only the Lazarus
Moon shall ever rise above.

I came to a courtyard of my own making,
Was it dream that led me there or my eyes?

By the Druid stone that was placed just for me,
Ormond
Ormond
Feb 24, 2013

I came to a courtyard of my own making,
To a cottage by the sea at the worlds edge.
I furnished it with my left over life, complete,
Barren and colourless and I wrote the newest
Book of psalms out of tinder and flame, a tome
Of grey and useless poems, unheard of songs
And reams of flesh.  There in the lightest dark,
By the Druid stone that was placed just for me,
I planted a creeping yew tree.  And the moon
Sang in celebration and silence like a fallen
Priest.  
                    Under the covering hazel trees,
That sprung to life after the longest winter,
Which taught me to forget my name, I now
Struggle with light and my body, warring, torn
Is fading slow, like the always arriving, down
Turning solstice, the climates of the mind,
Where it is digging the never ending shallow
Hole only the spreading eternal yew, that I
Planted, will ever know and only the Lazarus
Moon shall ever rise above.

I came to a courtyard of my own making,
Was it dream that led me there or my eyes?

By the Druid stone that was placed just for me,
Ormond
Ormond
Apr 28, 2013      Apr 29, 2013

I came to a courtyard of my own making,
To a cottage by the sea at the worlds edge.
I furnished it with my left over life, complete,
Barren and colorless and I wrote the newest
Book of psalms out of tinder and flame, a tome
Of grey and useless poems, unheard of songs
And reams of flesh.  There in the lightest dark,
By the Druid stone that was placed just for me,
I planted a creeping yew tree.  And the moon
Sang in celebration and silence like a fallen
Priest.  
                    Under the covering hazel trees,
That sprung to life after the longest winter,
Which taught me to forget my name, I now
Struggle with light and my body, warring, torn
Is fading slow, like the always arriving, down
Turning solstice, the climates of the mind,
Where it is digging the never ending shallow
Hole only the spreading eternal yew, that I
Planted, will ever know and only the Lazarus
Moon shall ever rise above.

I came to a courtyard of my own making,
Was it dream that led me there or my eyes?

Austine
Austine
May 6

the night held the paralyzing silence
that smothered me upon my rest
but i was too crestfallen for defense
so i let it take me, take me
and end this triumphless quest

but i was abandoned alive
left alone with only the memories
to keep me engaged in my life
parts of me scattered piece by piece
so i sat there and waited
for someone to take me, take me
and get this body vacated

but no one came to rescue
they said my soul wasn’t due
then you came out of the blue
"live louder," said you
one step closer and i hoped it’s a slaughter
but you held me and i felt stronger
and you claimed,
“life’s too short to wish it were shorter”

 
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