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Merlyn, on His Birth
by Michael R. Burch

I was born in Gwynedd,
or not born, as men may claim,
and the Zephyr of Caer Myrrdin
gave me my name.

My father was Madog Morfeyn
but our eyes were never the same,
nor our skin, nor our hair;
for his were dark, dark
—as our people’s are—
and mine were fairer than fair.

The night of my birth, the Zephyr
carved of white stone a rune;
and the ringed stars of Ursa Major
outshone the cool pale moon;
and my grandfather, Morydd, the seer
saw wheeling, a-gyre in the sky,
a falcon with terrible yellow-gold eyes
when falcons never fly.

Legend has it that Zephyr was an ancestor of Merlin. In this poem, I suggest that Merlin may have been an albino, which might have led to seemingly outlandish claims that he had no father, due to radical physical differences between father and son. This would have also added to his appearance as a mystical figure. The reference to Ursa Major, the bear, ties the birth of Merlin to the future birth of Arthur, whose Welsh name (“Artos” or “Artur”) means “bear.” Morydd is a another possible ancestor of Merlin’s.
Keywords/Tags: King Arthur, Arthurian, Merlin, round table, knights, England, chivalry, Camelot
Bhill Feb 26
does nothingness have a reflection
can it survive in the orange fog of today's kingdom
the kingdom that once was so Camelot

Brian Hill - 2020 # 57
Can you see it?
On the day he died
King Arthur ordered his knights
told them to prepare to fight
and maybe even die;
He was brave
and so was Mordred
who put a sword through his father,
the once and future tyrant.

At Camlann, the day was hot,
yet so cold; the air was misty
and the sea boiled;
The trees tilted away
looking scared and ashamed;
The prophets were quiet,
tight lipped, they sat up high,
chain-smoking on the peace pipe.

Mordred's head was pins-and-needles.
He clawed at his sword in stress,
looking at the opposite camp.
He thought of his mother at Avalon,
wondering if she'll bury him there
or his father. What will he do upon
arriving with heavy steps
on the fields of Camlann? He feels lost.

King Arthur was brandishing Excalibur,
lost in thoughts of murderous
sons and treacherous friends
and cheating wives.
He was reminiscing of his sister
and the ***** secret that lay,
all his shame, out in the open.
“'Tis long overdue.” He pondered.

Then came the hour, the minute,
the second; On the plains of Camlann
an ordinary soldier
saw the heavens through the clouds,
while the great knights were busy
with bloodbath and sacrifice.
He screamed with joy and terror
as the swords clashed with each other.

In the midst of the bloodthirsty,
confused horde was Mordred,
a ****** smile on his face
and his ragged blade
tore a gaping hole
in his father's abdomen.
As soon as he hit the floor,
Lancelot came from beyond.

He was too late; his king dead,
his queen devastated, banished;
she fled unwilling, but obediently.
There was only one thing left
to do; Lancelot knew well.
So King Arthur met his end at Camlann
and died with his son, Mordred.

That was the day their lives ended;
The lake Avalon took them in
and swallowed their bodies whole;
Lancelot watched the fire burn away.
Nimue, at the bottom of the lake,
broke the sword in half and wailed.
The world got quiet and moved on,
carrying the weight of forever lost
Camelot.
i got an excalibur tattoo yesterday, so i figured i would post this poem today
Insane, insane what follows old
This tragedy you're about to be told.
Though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
It is love that we most of all bequeath.
Amongst green pastures grows a flowering field
One not tainted by what this life yields.
Somewhere in the withered forget-me-knots
It lives long enough to be what it ought.
A shining prince upon a silver steed
Riding home to find that which was decreed.
Nothing more than just a thought
Of something born here in Camelot.

Oh mastery of misery art thou my friend?
Do we have so much to gather or defend?
Send us upon this grievous plain
To battle for all that must be regained.
Oh ported soul of Arthur’s gallant lot
Send to us the dear Sir Lancelot.
He be the bravest of all hearts,
His bravery known right from the start.
He hast no legend braved in fear
Doing the right by his lady Guinevere.
Life deals us such a broken art
Of a finger painted love here in Camelot.

The quest be of ill fated charms
Where love survives the coat of arms.
To be so brave is to be a slave
Fighting for the thing we crave.
For no coat of arms can delay
Love’s onslaught once on display.
For to pour the grail back into the flask
Would be to hold love as a captured task.
For ‘tis love that captures all at last
And nothing loved can truly pass.
Though the lance laid silent Lover Lancelot
His secret survives him here in Camelot.
Always liked the Sir Lancelot stories. I hope I did him justice
Mel Harcum Aug 2015
“Half sick of shadows,” cried the Lady of Shalott,
half sick of darkness growing, doorways
twisting, with faces grotesque on yellow wallpaper

and speaking woe in whispers passed
dream-thin through limbs and veins and minds
because a window is a stop sign until

opened, and locks are stitches sewing chapped lips
tense as the web woven, intricate designs
layered vibrant color on a lonely loom in a tower

otherwise lightless, heavy with pressure,
bearing down on the Lady of Shalott and her art--
made up in the image of Camelot.
A mythical reality
of Presidents and Kings
Oval Offices, Round Tables
And the power each one brings

A dream of unknown future
Of what we wished to see
A fictional creation
Of life not meant to be

Magical creations
That lived just in our mind
Families so cursed
There's just remnants left behind

A time of recollection
Be it near or long ago
A true tale of "what if?"
That we all will never know

Brothers dead, dreams vanished
Future Princes of the Realm
Plantagenet or Kennedy
Which son will take the helm?

A Mythical creation
A place we want to see again
Is there royalty in waiting?
To be the leader of free men
Em Mar 2014
There was a king
With a crown of gold
And a tale
Centuries foretold.

The present ruler,
Son of past,
The first in line,
And the last.

The stuff of legend
And tavern song,
By word of mouths
Of vagabonds.

Kind, courageous,
Just, and wise -
King once and in
The future, rise.

Deathless, though
Mortal was he
In the fields
He battled valiantly.

Son of one,
Father of all,
His children witnessed
Their great king's fall.

Though the memory
Of their king's claim,
Has immortalized
His regal name.

In the text,
History and culture,
He remains ruler,
Once and future.

And to this day
His people sing
The king is dead,
        *Long live the king!

— The End —