Caer Wydion

I go to the fortress of Lleu and Gwydion.’
The Dialogue of Taliesin and Ugnach

I.
Beneath
the mountain
there is a fighter jet

emblazoned with the name GWYDION.

On the passenger seat
there is a single
mushroom.

EAT ME it says.

I’m a sucker for a trick.

A one-way flight to Caer Wydion.

II.
I take one bite.

It’s enough –
the plane dismantles
and the bonds of my atoms break.

Whatever is left is hurtled through space
to a fortress in a woodland
where trees bow down
to only one.

III.
In a giant’s crown
Gwydion holds court
with the eagle-headed Lleu

and his three animal children –

Hyddwn, Hwchddwn, Bleiddwn,
fawn, piglet, snarling wolf-cub
polite in their bibs.

Gilfaethwy sits beside him –
brother and bride and groom
with sow’s ears and a snout.

Gwydion wears polished silver antlers
and a wolf-skin coat studded
with stars on the inside.

He throws down his wand.

At the look on my face his courtiers
laugh until their sides split
and their insides

fall out and roll about the floor
like jellies still trembling
with laughter.

Of course I can’t help but step over
the wand of the enchanter
then watch helpless

as my insides fall out –
an hysterical woman clutching
her wandering womb.

IV.
Two men with pencils
in the pockets of their lab coats
and long silky ass’s ears

take me down to the basement

where homunculi with eyes
in their foreheads are singing
eerie prophecies in glass jars:

a dozen miniature Taliesins
with tiny imperfections like
missing ears, fingers, toes.

V.
Along an endless corridor
are countless doors opening
into rooms where hybrid plants
turn toward fluorescent lights
to the pulse of a water pump.

“Gwydion will never create
the perfect wife for Lleu.”

A feather light voice in my ear
then talons grip my shoulders

and bear me back to my home.

Fly Agaric, Coed Felinrhyd

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