Tynged

The snake-eyed die is cast,
unfurled like the ship’s sail
from the creaking oak mast,
while the Westward winds wail.
The man in the crow’s nest
cries out, “Crags down below!”
but the waves surge to crest,
churning, blow upon blow.
The crew shouts to their gods,
clinging as the hull slams
into reef, and then nods
toward the fish and clams.
The die is cast—a loss
for Man against the Fates;
the waves renew and toss,
heaving like strong shipmates.
The ship tips over, now,
as a horse reined to fall,
pitching to starboard bow
as at the siren’s call.
The men abandon ship,
leaping from larboard side
like die cast with a slip
of the hand—they still died.

Good Dreams, Bad Dreams

Good Dreams

The sweeping shadow is so sweet
as the wind sighs through the window’s veil,
cool and soft as the silken sheet
and the dreaming mist which we exhale.
A train of fairies passes by
amongst fireflies at a merry pace,
the stars mottle the westward sky
as the freckles on a lover’s face.
Like dawns over worlds never known,
dreams come gently through the inner night,
but waking from what dreams have shown,
waking eyes are full of fairy light.

Bad Dreams

From shadows fallen come the fears
which shroud the mind and make it shiver,
the dregs of life distilled with tears
in a bowl, the brain, all aquiver.
A dark sea lay below a bluff
brimming with the dead, draug and wight,
the froth flung upward, fierce and rough
with the strife of Nix—an endless night.
And over this the wan moon glows
like the blind eye of a ghoul in search
of graveyards with their stones in rows
where the ravens and gargoyles perch.
And the stars are a crimson swarm
gathering in the funeral cloth
while clouds roll past, a Sluagh storm
passing through, faces twisted and wroth.

Memories

They are only phantoms in the brain,
data within a computer drive,
a song with an echoing refrain,
the buzzing bees of a mental hive,
a book inscribed with pleasure and pain,
the retro slang from yesterday’s jive,
apparitions which we clutch in vain,
both the ripples and the deep-sea dive,
graffiti sprayed on a passing train,
the postcards from the place we arrive,
a shroud moth-eaten around its stain,
the remainders of those once alive.