Rigantona’s Departure

The fall of tempered leaves
stamps itself out mid-November
like leaf-shaped arrow heads

the yellow birch my old daggers

distant memories of the ancestors
contort the gloaming wearing

cloaks as grey as your shroud

and the grey spider who hangs
above watching you departing from
the darkness without a thread.

I cannot imagine you Great Queen
as the young girl who was taken
against her will when the last leaf

fell by the hunter with the horns

and the ember-eyes headlight bright

before there were cars and cars and cars…
before with the leaves the forest fell…
before Annwn was known as Hell.

You always knew where you were going
didn’t you? Needed no thread to lead
you back to your own home in his arms?

They knew that too – our ancestors

who offered up coins minted like leaves
in fairyland where money grows on trees
and crumbles likes us to grey dust.

I have no coin the leaves in my pockets
are old and withered as grey spiders.

When my fingers are dust I shall
follow without a thread shrugging into
your shroud joining the contours

of the grey-cloaked ever-marching dead.

4 thoughts on “Rigantona’s Departure

  1. Greg says:

    This touched me deeply. The imagery captures the mood of her going, both the sadness for us and the inevitability for her as the seasons turn and she goes through the grey mists at leaf-fall and the Dark of the Moon. All evocatively calibrated in your verses.


  2. Tiege McCian says:

    Leaf shaped arrow heads… Great Queen… huh… what a weird coincidence!!

    The poem is very sad, almost severe! I most enjoyed what sounded to me like your mixture of mythic themes with the folkloric: the recognizable otherworld that nonetheless has the folksy money trees.

    Where I live we don’t have much differentiation between seasons and this time of year has the most distinct seasonal cues, so I’ve always enjoyed it.

  3. Thornsilver says:

    I relate to having no coin in my pockets. I like that you connected that to deeper Annuvian ideas of what is really permanent and the cycle of things. The leaves crumbling almost become a form of wealth. Also I remember you speaking of a connection for you between Rhiannon and Creiddylad and this made me think of that.

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