the extent of the marshland of Annwn. Some cross it in a day. For others it goes on forever like the mist that obscures the musical birds, the shriekers of the mournful shrieks, the droners of the ancient drone, the players of the carnyxes that gurgle beneath the waters. You never know what is splashing behind on countless feet until it is too late. Sometimes you get lost following the will-o-wisps like lost hopes to where all hope fails. Sometimes you make sacrifices or become the sacrifice see your bog body your ghost flying free like a lonely bird. You become an inspirer or a guide only to bring doom to the unwary. When you think you know the way you slip. When you think you have found the awen you find it escapes words, that the sigh of its name is already escaping your lungs, that breath is not yours to keep forever and must return to the gods.
Awenydd of the Marsh
“You have not yet crossed the marsh.”
No, I’ve got lost again, led round on splashing circle feet to the village where there is a wooden pole and on it a woman seated cross-legged on the head of a bull a crane with wings spread above her.
When she’s not on the pole she’s in the central hut a cord of light down the centre of her spine surrounded by worlds that flicker in and out of existence whether at her will or not I am uncertain.
I’ve never heard her speak, seen her eyes blink, perhaps she dare not for fear of unseeing the realities she holds within her gaze. She doesn’t even breathe. Without her things would fall apart.
My eyes are tired, I’m out of breath, my worlds are out of reach, and I’m missing something.
An Abandoned Sea-Dragon
A blue watery dragon is snared by a weak rusty-looking metal chain around one leg, like a ship at anchor, like an abandoned boat, where the tides come up and wash over her body then back down again. She is ridden with fleas. She is one of the dragons that have been forgotten. I know I could easily break the chain but am told that it is not the chain that binds the dragon there. She has forgotten how to leave. The knight who chained her has fled from his fear of her death. The people do not feed her. She just lingers. It’s an awful story. A terrible mess. There’s no resolution. It’s embarrassing.
With thanks to Elizabeth Explores on Unsplash for the image.