The Song Of The Sea

The boy, he sits upon the cliff,

head bowed down and his tears streaming —

back home, his mother ’s cold and stiff

as if asleep, but not dreaming.

She washed ashore just yesternight

after a week missing abroad;

she had left the farm aft a fight

with her husband, that sorry sod.

From off this cliff the mother fell

while gathering up bitter tears,

thinking whether she ’d wait a spell

and return home, despite her fears.

But bleak and bitter was the moor

and the world was but a shadow,

the Song of Tides surged on the shore

and the moon called with a mad glow.

Down she fell into the ocean

as if of mind to be as free,

as some say, or so their notion

that she chose the tides of the sea.

For tides fling up along the bluff,

strumming a song of froth and spray,

and though it can be hard and tough,

there ’s no hatred in its way.

For the sea has a strong embrace

that can crush what it loves to death,

yet still she plunged from that high place

so the sea could take her last breath.

Unlike a man when in his drink

whose hands tighten to two hard fists,

the sea surges, but does not think,

splashing softly with its flung mists.

And though her body lay on land,

her soul is still in the free tide…

Look!  The son reaches out a hand

where flung-fingered froth becks inside.

Many-Memoried Moon

The horned moon glosses the barn’s roof
with a soft light, like dew upon a lawn,
and silent falls beastly snout and huddled hoof
in those long dreaming hours before the dawn.

Across harvested fields where hay bales lay
hunkered down and wound round unto golden rolls,
there are bonfires flaring, as on Beltane day
when flames flicker fulsome upon the knolls.

Ringed round each heat-hearted, tree-fed fire
there dance the antlered people of an old county
to celebrate with foot and voice and strumming lyre
the crops that have sprouted as Summer’s bounty.

With pagan heartbeats and ancestral bones
they twirl together to make the Midsummer merry,
and though there loom no great standing stones
they remember the isle that is yet kin to Faerie.

By the breastplate of Boudicca and Cuchulainn’s cloak,
by the crib of Fin M’Coul and Epona’s stride,
they remember while flames and shadow both soak
their faces like sunset on Avalon’s dark tide.

And when the druid moon retires, at last, to bed
at the hour of the cock’s intrepid crow,
they rise from sleep, each baptized head
still awash with the pulsating pagan glow.

And with them they bring the ancient ghosts
to their Sunday church mass, among the pews,
and sit them down like humblebrag hosts
to dehorn themselves of their moon-crowned views.