A Great Scaled Beast

Gweint mil mawren
arnaw yd oed canpen
a chat erdygnawt
dan von y tauawt
a chat arall yssyd
yn y wegilyd

I pierced a great-scaled beast:
there were a hundred heads on him,
and a fierce battalion
beneath the roof of his tongue;
and another battalion is
in (each of) his napes
The Battle of the Trees

A great scaled beast sees
wars across the worlds: these
last days of Empire’s fall
beautiful, terrible…
Heads burn East, West, North, South.
Everywhere a Hell Mouth.

On the howl of Dormach
fierce battalions march
forth from beneath the rooves
of his tongues sent to prove
the world’s end to itself
and lead each frightened self

into the great beast’s maw.
Entering his gaping jaws
every step is further
down his throat – surrender
would be bliss if it weren’t
for regret, guilt, the hurt

of leaving all we loved.
Our work was not enough.
This is a night of tears.
This is a night of fear.
This tongue a road we must
walk – perfect faith and trust

keep us strong as we go
where only the gods know
splitting East, West, North, South –
all into the Hell Mouths.
In the maw of the beast
will we relearn to speak?

Will we each be reborn?

A Great Scaled Beast Black, White, Red Final Sml

‘A great scaled beast / there were a hundred heads on him’

4 thoughts on “A Great Scaled Beast

  1. simonhlilly says:

    Nice reflection of the original rhyme form without it turning precious. That ‘fierce battalion beneath the roof of his tongue’ – could those be a kenning for teeth, or for fierce war spells, curses and battle cries? A feast of words, whatever meanings were meant.

  2. Greg says:

    I like the way you have worked Dormach in here and so Gwyn by allusion. Do you see the beast (strikingly illustrated) as one his retinue? The gathered souls hoping for re-birth also have a universal resonance reminding me of Yeats’ ‘Second Coming’ poem – so individual/seasonal rebirth take on the wider sense of a more general end of things … and what will come after?

    • lornasmithers says:

      I definitely see the beast as Annuvian although not as closely associated with Gwyn as the Cwn Annwn. These feel like very very early beings who maybe even existed prior to the gods. From what I’ve been shown Gwyn has knowledge of them and a relationship with them but they’re not obedient to him like the Cwn Annwn. They’re probably more amongst those forces of Annwn he’d struggle to hold back…

      ‘And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, / Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?’…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.