Down, down, down
the spiralling staircase
is not the the only way
I will not walk again.

Your castle moves,
illusions kept in place,
six thousand speechless
guardians on the walls.

Deeper than a nuclear
bunker the secret it holds
is far more dangerous.
You sleep like a bomb.

The breath of Annwn
resides within your chest
rising, falling, rising
like the living and dead.

I dare not ponder what
you dream in case I find
I have been dreamt here.
Yet here I know peace.

So much more powerful
for I know you contain
the fury, madness, chaos
of the spirits of Annwn

and if it is released
the breath of all will end.
In the moment we breathe
together I am blessed,

imbued with the Awen.
How to carry your breath
back home from Annwn
and shape it into words?

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In the myth I live by, after Gwyn ap Nudd (our Brythonic Winter King) is defeated by Gwythyr (our Brythonic Summer King) he retires to sleep beneath the hollow hills in a tomb in Caer Ochren, the Castle of Cold Stone. This poem is based on my practice of visiting him there over the summer months.

The images are of Winter Hill, one of the hills in the Old North I associate with Gwyn. Much of the other side of the hill is still scarred and barren from the fires that raged throughout the summer last year –  a sign of the current imbalance between the seasons due to climate change?

Winter Hill Scarred


3 thoughts on “Visit

  1. namelessneed says:

    I’m thinking that this is a magnificent poem. I’ve read it several times (not something I’m accustomed to) and liked it better every read. Thank you, & thanx for offering up extra explanations afterwards. A very good read this morning. g.r.

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