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Michael R Burch Mar 2020
Isolde’s Song
by Michael R. Burch

Through our long years of dreaming to be one
we grew toward an enigmatic light
that gently warmed our tendrils. Was it sun?
We had no eyes to tell; we loved despite
the lack of all sensation—all but one:
we felt the night’s deep chill, the air so bright
at dawn we quivered limply, overcome.

To touch was all we knew, and how to bask.
We knew to touch; we grew to touch; we felt
spring’s urgency, midsummer’s heat, fall’s lash,
wild winter’s ice and thaw and fervent melt.
We felt returning light and could not ask
its meaning, or if something was withheld
more glorious. To touch seemed life’s great task.

At last the petal of me learned: unfold
and you were there, surrounding me. We touched.
The curious golden pollens! Ah, we touched,
and learned to cling and, finally, to hold.

According to legend, Isolde/Iseult/Yseult and Tristram/Tristan were lovers who died, were buried close to each other, then reunited in the form of plants growing out of their graves. A rose emerged from Isolde's grave, a vine or briar from Tristram's, then the two became one. Tristram was the Celtic Orpheus, a minstrel whose songs set women and even nature a-flutter.

Originally published by The Raintown Review and nominated for the Pushcart Prize; since published by Ancient Heart Magazine (England), The Eclectic Muse (Canada), Boston Poetry Magazine, The Orchards, Strange Road, Complete Classics, FreeXpression (Australia), Better Than Starbucks, Fullosia Press, Glass Facets of Poetry, Sonnetto Poesia (Canada), The New Formalist, Trinacria

Keywords/Tags: Tristram, Tristan, Isolde, Iseult, Yseult, Arthurian, legend, myth, romance, Ireland, Cornwall, King Mark, love potion, spell, charm, magic, adultery, harp, minstrel, troubadour, white sails, white hands, betrayal, death, grave, briar, bramble, branches, rose, hazel, honeysuckle, intertwined
Owain Nov 2018
Trezūnger, last house along the esplanade
Stares out towards Polruan Point. In the growing storm
I feel Atlantic.
St Catherine stands
Over the harbour, laying her claim to the sea
Under the watchful gaze of the eye of Neptune. All the while
The trees whisper to the waves in the wind and release
Leaves and autumnal fragrance. Clustered cottages shoal
Whitewashed in the lee by the ford-over-the-stones-by-the-beach.
The tide and the air pressure low as nature ***** a deep breath ready for the storm
'Ford-over-the-stones-by-the-beach'  refers to a local beach, Anglicised from the Cornish language to 'Readymoney Beach' (Res an Mena) I thought making the long-winded literal translation would be interesting.
Clive Blake Jun 2017
Coastline, rocky, rugged, proud,
Crumbling cliffs in ozone shroud,
Sun-kissed drifts of desert sand,
Golden frame of a sea cradled land.

Fishing village, atmospheric hub,
Brass band playing, outside quaint old pub,
Boats, all sizes, rest near harbour wall,
Wading birds sift through tide-filled pool.

Foliage explosion of a Cornish hedge,
Country lanes snake, and young birds fledge,
Ruminants, punctuating, quilted hill,
Buzzards soar and wise hares are still.

Tin mine engine house, towering stack,
Roof caved in, gorse and bracken’s back,
White clay peak, geometrical and sleek,
Earth’s riches gouged, canyon deep.

Moor-land, open, untamed, granite strewn,
Wild ponies dance to a skylark’s tune,
Tor and beacon, barrow and mound,
You’re in God’s own country, when you walk this ground.
Clive Blake Aug 2017
There was an old wreck-marker from Fowey,
Who had been at sea since he was a buoy,
But when his mooring wore through,
He went where the wind blew,
Ending his days on the beach - as a toy.
Fowey is pronounced Foy; as in boy
Clive Blake Jul 2017
LICHEN laden, granite cross,
Reminder of a celtic culture’s loss,
An icon to placate a harsh deity,
A religious symbol, an outward plea.

LADEN cross, granite lichen,
Not a mere whim, but a deliberate decision,
Ley-line power, here to focus,
Awaiting another mid-summer solstice.

GRANITE cross, lichen laden,
Sculptured for a dark-haired maiden,
Elaborate and ultimate statement of love,
A prayer for a union to be blessed from above.

CROSS, lichen laden, granite
Manufactured on a far off planet,
Crafted and left to become immortal,
Marker of a time traveller’s portal.
Clive Blake Jun 2017
Coastline, rocky, rugged, proud,
Crumbling cliffs in ozone shroud,
Sun-kissed drifts of desert sand,
Golden frame of a sea cradled land.

Fishing village, atmospheric hub,
Brass band playing, outside quaint old pub,
Boats, all sizes, rest near harbour wall,
Wading birds sift through tide-filled pool.

Foliage explosion of a Cornish hedge,
Country lanes snake, and young birds fledge,
Ruminants, punctuating, quilted hill,
Buzzards soar and wise hares are still.

Tin mine engine house, towering stack,
Roof caved in, gorse and bracken’s back,
White clay peak, geometrical and sleek,
Earth’s riches gouged, canyon deep.

Moor-land, open, untamed, granite strewn,
Wild ponies dance to a skylark’s tune,
Tor and beacon, barrow and mound,
You’re in God’s own country, when you walk this ground.
This poem describes the beautiful Duchy of Cornwall.  Cornwall is on the South Western tip of the UK.  The land of the Cornish.
Clive Blake Jun 2017
This flower cut,
Whilst in full bloom,
Now rests in peace,
Within this tomb.
Charlotte Dymond was a young girl who was muredered on Bodmin Moor in Cornwall UK in 1844.  You can read more in my poem Charlotte Dymond.  She was originally buried without a headstone, this is my idea of a possible epitaph for her.  In recent years, she has been given a headstone with basic details on.
Clive Blake Jun 2017
In early eighteen-forty-four,
In Cornwall’s heart; on Bodmin Moor,
Charlotte Dymond, a young farm maid,
Had her throat slit with a steel blade,

She crossed fast streams and deadly bogs,
Found her way through mists and fogs,
But couldn’t stop that fatal blow,
That stole her life and laid her low,

She walked to meet someone that day,
Just who that was ... no one would say,
Found days later beside a track,
Laid on a cart; her shroud a sack,

The surgeon, Thomas Good, was fetched,
Had in his mind, her white face etched,
Charlotte untouched by fox or crow,
Had she been moved ... he did not know,

No evidence was ever found,
But her young boyfriend had gone to ground,
Fingers so quick to point his way,
Matthew Weeks panicked; ran away,

The hapless *******, was soon caught,
No other culprit was ever sought,
The judge was just a rubber-stamp,
Bodmin Gaol was dark and damp,

The scaffold built, the crowds arrived,
Matthew swore he had not lied,
The floor gave way, the rope drew tight,
Was justice done ... the verdict right?
Charlotte Dymond was murdered in the circumstances described in this poem.  Much research has been carried out regarding this infamous case and books written about it.  Matthew Weeks’ guilt has been questioned but with no forensic evidence it is is one cold case never to be reopened.  A reconstruction of the trial can be visited at the Shire Hall in Bodmin, Cornwall, UK.
Colm Feb 2017
Mistress of the cliffs
With eyes like lighting
And the rolling thunderous waves crashing down
Just beneath her fingertips

She is Demelza
The Goddess of solidarity and steadfastness

The epitome of emphasis
And the truth behind every last belmaidens wish

Which is of course…
To return to the fields of idleness
Of former youth

To thresh the wheat and kick the chaff
And to walk the surface of the earth
With a joy forgetting the hardships
And the toils of the fast

And so each day
She trudges her way
Though the dark and dull abyss
Until she reaches her new task
And sets herself to another height
For she was born to be mistress of the cliffs
With eyes like ice and hair like flames
Her servants know she cannot be tamed
Or kept on any windy ridge
Don Moore Oct 2016
He sings a song of love and darkness
I twirl away with my leaves of autumn
He stamps his foot and roars his call
I disguise myself in brown and gold
He leaves buds where his feet fall
I must horde my experience
He gives freely what I adore
I am regal and one of four
He has boundless endless love
I let him chase me each year
He chases in our endless game
I whirl like leaves blown on a chill wind
He jumps and twists as he attempts to tryst
Then I must be gone for another year
And He, He is bereft
But watches for my chillier sister who is next
In Greek religion and mythology, Pan is the god of the wild, shepherds and flocks, nature of mountain wilds and rustic music, and companion of the nymphs. His name originates within the Ancient Greek language, from the word paein, meaning "to pasture"; the modern word "panic" is derived from the name. He has the hindquarters, legs, and horns of a goat, in the same manner as a faun or satyr. With his homeland in rustic Arcadia, he is also recognized as the god of fields, groves, and wooded glens; because of this, Pan is connected to fertility and the season of spring. The ancient Greeks also considered Pan to be the god of theatrical criticism.
A Poem from my first draft book, a dark faery tale set in Cornwall, romance and death, the turn of the seasons, and the world,
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