Crime Scene

I.
This is the writer’s shed; leaning, derelict.
Rot has set in. Ivy tangles the crumbling walls.
I rip it off, break in through a creaking door
which tilts off its hinges and falls.
There’s an old, old computer
on an older desk.
The monitor, boxy and square,
is cracked and opens into the abyss.
The keyboard is battered at staccato angles.
The E has sprung off and the only letters
visible are Q, X and Z.
In the bin is a dog-eared manuscript,
beside it a box of matches that would not strike.
The thief of the Awen has struck again.

II.
This is the abandoned attic. I climb up
a rickety ladder, tear away cobwebs.
Spiders scuttle into crevices.
I find a book shelf and chemistry set,
pages open on the floor,
scribbled formulae
crossed out and screwed up.
Red litmus paper: a warning.
Eight cloudy tests tubes beside
a cracked crucible on an unsteady tripod.
A smoky pipe leads to a conical flask
filled with black and unidentifiable muck.
Safety goggles lie discarded after one last look.
The thief of the Awen has struck again.

III.
This is the witch’s cottage and overgrown garden.
Huge swathes of comfrey ring pink bells.
Nettles rule the compost heap.
Ignoring the stares of garden gnomes
with ruddy cheeks, white beards, tutting forefingers,
I step over a pair of leaky Wellingtons,
break the curse on the back door.
The sink is full of plates.
Walls lined with jars of dried herbs
and ground powders are splattered
with gelatinous goo from the broken cauldron.
Beside a pestle and mortar the spell book’s last page
is empty but for a burnt mark and green stain.
The thief of the Awen has struck again.

IV.
Run, run, Ceridwen, go chase him down,
be greyhound, quick-hound, otter-bitch.
When he takes to the skies,
rise as a hawk,
when he falls as grain
peck, peck, peck Old Mother Hen,
swallow, swallow hard your errant son.
Birth something new, no more senseless
trails from crime scene to crime scene,
listen to Afagddu who has followed
the fingerprints draped in feathers.
Age Old Mother end this endless
chase. Let us learn to love
our imperfections.

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4 thoughts on “Crime Scene

  1. Pingback: Crime Scene | Historical Tours Ireland

  2. The theft of Awen .. And yet it is re-born from each of these stanzas as the final one attests. From the old forgotten inspirations new ones arise. It is the chase itself that is the eternal inpiration of Awen. May she find us out wherever we run and may we ever rediscover Awen anew!

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