Brennos and Morpheus
How many see, yon well mudded hill
Raised upon most sanguine company of fallen.
Unknowable numbers brought together and death via immutable will;
Where many see humble brewery, standing free
Two strangers afar quite assuredly, I see,
Blessedly and mercifully made still.
Atop distant unseen mound they stand,
While certain maelstrom and calamity abounds.
One genteel son of conquerors:
Marked by caesarean beak, wreathed in patrician grey.
Betwixt cold marbled halls, umbral groves, indifferent phantasmagoria;
One ardent daughter of heroes:
Marked by brigidine crease, painted in savage red.
Long yearned return o’ cruelly stolen late hour worthily restored and re-lived.
Ruddy in bronz’d falling light, they blaze! Far wondrouser!
Than foully splendid Guinevere; than cursedly noble Arthur.
Naught save by Diarmuid’s unwilling power and; head to head,
Hand in hand; guided by Cupid’s perfidious draw, they are begat.
Agonisingly wrought per one great schism, distillation did they become.
No passion ‘cept for strife, cruelly was love found.
Betrothed in iron accordingly wedded in blood;
Capricious were They, who fashioned them amidst a-warring.
How many did die, for two to surely cross path and blade alike.
First strike at war, second blow in love, third amidst deep sorrow.
Moon fell and rose five score and ten; a mark throughout,
Archly inevitable dying twilight a’fore well portended ending dusk.
Abandoned long past, the conquerors’ son, a Hero now become;
Tempered and tested, the heroes’ daughter, a Queen now become.
Their moments dwindled hand in hand, head to head; unknowingly
Buttressed a fury until, no songs there are to sing.
Mayhap it is well they do forget, that first and far off moment.
When met to end the other’s time they saw within,
It fit to end feud shared alack nary voiced.
Their worlds asunder’d, clashed as tide and rock:
His heart beholden to far foreign seat
Her soul aflame’d ‘gainst all close usurpation.
That day is gone, their twilight done; dusk hath turned to mourning.
Entwined in aught kenning wills a chance, brazen, hath now arisen.
His wilding spirit surpassed a blood of potentate appetency, to hold once more;
Her purduring blood surpassed a spirit of adjuratory vengeance, to hold in return.
War is done. Their conflict past. Time now, to unbind their fate – surely earned!
Those ancient woes are gone, what further can you impel?
Bitter is that hollow hope; gentle repast.
Longer still then, their doom’ed task.
Lo! As surely as two have sought their rest
So too a Revenant, hearkens all fouled behest.
Fie, I cry! No more! Take others; take me! Any, all, but they…
Alas, I hear: none be spared this fray; so great the battle they must stay.
Once more and forlornly, their arms are arms; unsuited for any lovers’ caress,
As together now they stand: two warriors upon the hill, blood upon their feathers.
It has been a very, very long time since I have had the wherewithall to finish writing something and tidy it up enough to feel like its worth putting up – here or at Gods & Radicals. Part of this has been simple insecurity about the things I have been drafting lately when looked in the light of whatever everyone else is putting out there; my stuff never seems to be up to snuff, not even just amatuerish but childishly amateurish. Rather like a five or six year old boy trying on daddy’s clothes and running around the house loudly pronouncing “Look at me! I’m a fireman/policeman/professor…” Another part of it is that work has slowly been taking more and more out of me, sapping any real desire to try and keep up with what I see as my responsibilities to myself (like being regular for G&R). There have been other things, like preparing for a language proficiency test and generally having little to no zest to force myself to keep up. A few friends think I am doing to much between trying to write regularly, studying two languages, exercising everyday, doing those basic ‘need to do’ life-maintenance things and working full time. I’m, less sure of that.
Ultimately though, when I first saw Brennos’s third part of his reccounting of the Coru Cathubodua (my facts might be slightly off in saying just Coru, it might have just been a bunch of Coru and like-minded folks) pilgrimmage to Ireland and one of the pictures Joe Perri took of him and Morpheus I was genuinely struck by the need to write what has ended up as the above prose. I’d hesitate to call the moment magical, but it was the first time in a long that something had set my mind off and made it immediately start spinning images in my head, which is how it often starts for me with these kinds of things. Something will spark a still image of something to ‘appear’ in my minds eye and then almost without needing to think about it more and more will billow out of that first one until its almost like a flashback scene in a movie or videogame. In this case it started with seeing, almost superimposed upon the photo, a hill in a wartorn field with two people standing on it, one a man wearing Romanesque armour while the other a woman in leathers and painted like a Celt. Naturally even a simple, cursory glance of either of their blogs would give you enough details to automatically bring those details together to establish the same scene. Hence, this poem is, for perhaps the first time, about Brennos and Morpheus; two subjects who know this has been written about them (I asked for permission to use the picture) and at least one of which will read this finished product. I’ll admit, knowing that did affect how I went about finishing and polish the final piece which ultimately turned out to be a good thing as I wouldn’t have noticed an error in chronology present in the previous layout of the stanzas.