They asked me “was I ready?”


I, who have been beyond the nine keyless doors

beyond nine gates, nine veils,

beyond the mirthless, shining eye,

crept through the constricting labyrinths of earth,

gazed fearless through the skrying-cup of rebirth…


And now they hang me up

by one foot

from the dread and battling tree.

Pain, as

the hook of the heavens stretches me to the distant stars and

Hertha, below, reaches tenderly towards my skull.


No sister, I am not yours yet.


Alone I hang,

A shuddering bait for the Gods

so cold,

and now the

Queen is arriving.

Made of fracturing ice and the

still-coursing blood of her


Bring her on!

She is riding

and gaining behind me swinging her furs

hooves ricochet rock and thunder the howl of her dogs, her court

and company full-tilt screech and rage, stench of rotting pelts, thunder louder,


my empty stomach contracts

yellow-eyed wall of deafening dogs and hooves towards my hanging form in an impossibly straight line,

white their skin

and steel their teeth,

to rip me apart and

my soul and

they pass

straight through me,

racing on to the white horizon,

a hunting horn shrills


and they vanish.


Floating, empty

in my cocoon.

Swung and twisted by the winds of form.

Washed free by the rains of my heart,

Stung by the sunlight of shame.


Numb, the roar of rooks above.


As bait, I hang

a hollowed fruit impaled

by a black winter branch

As bait for the Gods,

my dead boy’s face.

As bait, I hang

the scent of bluebells and tears.

As bait for the Gods,

a golden crown.

As bait, I hang

my own heart beating, held in someone’s bloodied hands.

Myself to myself.


Light floods



Forms and forms take shape into


a language

a magic

a music


So many riches…

They cut me down

and birthed me back into the world

and then

they asked me ‘was I ready?’

I said for what?


The true initiation,

for that,

they said

was merely the trial.



be worthy of your gifts.

Open Gorsedh 2012

Initiaton Postergerry_the_bard 2012We’re thrilled to announce that Gerry Barnett won the 2012 contest for the Bardic Chair to become the 7th Bard of Ynys Witrin. The Crown went to Harmony and the Fool’s Hat was presented to Richard Field. The Judges decided to award the Tim Sebastion Memorial Trophy to Nathan Lewis Williams for his work in “the elevation of the word” and Tara was accepted as Younger Bard of Ynys Witrin for 2012.

The Circle of new members10 new Bards were initiated at the Open Gorsedh ceremony, so we welcome Richard Field, Denise Michell, Gerry Barnett, Lokabandu, Carol, Stuart Packer, Morag of he Moor, David Muir, Andy and Daygan into the fold. Honorary Bardships were also awarded to Pok and Graham Coles (The Town Crier of Glastonbury) in recognition of their unique contributions to the community.

The Chairing of the new bardWith 14 contenders in the Trials, this was the biggest contest we’ve held so far and the standard of the entries was phenomenal. Thank you to everyone who took part and contributed to making it happen!