The Horse-Gift

‘Whoso would ride to Gwlad o’r Annwn
Shall find himself without a steed;
How then, of whom, asks he the horse-gift,
Through floods, to fields, safe home to speed?
-Nick Ford, ‘The Plains of Annwn’

My horse is lost,
white mare of the meadows
with the morning mist
that cannot turn to dew
on grassy blades.

The fields are harrowed,
over-run by JCBs and steamrollers
that press the by-pass wider,
steaming, smoking its way
across once grassy plains.

I would rather not
remember this in Annwn,
trampling damp grasses to my knees
on the trail of a white mare
who keeps running further away.

The knight with the shining visor
and eyes of sincere blue
is searching for a girl
before the King of Annwn
takes away her memories.

I say I am not that girl
and he gifts to me his steed,
a dark war-horse who stamps
and steams to save my land
from the harrowing.

Now that knight endlessly tramples
plains of grasses to his knees
seeking the girl who seeks the horse
who seeks the meadows
in Gwlad O’r Annwn

where the King
soothes all memories away.

Well field, Penwortham

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*This poem is based on combination of inspirations; lines from ‘The Plains of Annwn’ by Nick Ford, which have haunted me since my first reading, the destruction of The Meadows in Valley Park in Penwortham, and a dream where I crossed from The Meadows into Annwn and met a friend who told me he was ‘searching for a girl before the King of Annwn takes her memories away.’

Nick’s poem can be found in full here: http://www.manygods.org.uk/poetry/epona.shtml

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