The Ravens

I am the white hawk of the May;
I am the son of a distant host.
Keeping the lighthouse in my sights
on the horizon, I circle lowest;
making my way from the coast.

I was with the most high
where the harmonies collide;
I have heard the perpetual song
that springs up from deep inside;

I have seen the crystal tower
and flown it round about;
I have danced with pixie folks
therein, so have no doubt;

I have studied nineteen cycles
of Gwydion’s castle turning;
I have learned, if I’ve learned anything at all,
that nothing isn’t worth the learning;

I have been known to have dreams
so strong they wake me up;
I have thought of so many reasonable schemes
that it overfills my cup;

My laugh is like a gravel path
and my work for the ministry of the patently bleedin’ daft
has become worse than a blessing in blank verse
so I’ll try to keep it terse:

With clever words and cunning hand
I contrive to harmonise the verses bland,
but I am just a placeholder for someone greater matched,
for I have much to study before I am fully hatched.

I guess it’s up to you,
dear Judges and Contenders too.
You shall sit on a chair of gold
if you would boldly bare your soul
and contend this seat with your words bewitching
to become the Bard of Ynyswitrin.

For the winter now has passed away,
we greet the growing green beneath our feet
and the silver shining moon above, grins upon thy street.
For the summer sun has vanquished
greyness, pain and thawed the sleet
and the Ravens of the battlefield still scream over meat.

More yellow is her hair than the flower of broom
and her skin it is whiter than foam;
Grander than an anenome are her hands
and swifter than hawk’s eyes her glance;
Snowier than the breast of a white swan her glands
and redder than roses her cheek;
She sucks on her fingers and wriggles her toes
and trefoils spring green up beneath her feet
and the Ravens of the battlefield still scream after their meat.

White owl of wisdom, O where have you been?
The dappled light shines on your jewellry so fine,
did you ride out to visit the Queen?
White owl of wisdom, O what have you done?
Enveloped by green, soft we fade so serene,
have you hidden the land from the sun?

For the boys they have been out fighting again.
Every year it happens, exactly the same,
for they glory in the crash of the breaking of spears,
with no sense of fear, it’s clear
that for them it’s only a game.

Well …

Frankly I’m afraid that this frequent fraternal feuding
for the feminine favours of our faerie flower maiden
is confessedly fairly futile but features fully in the
fantasy folk format that we fervently profess to follow.

Furthermore …

How shall we find the freedom to love as we choose?
Without the essence of the story loose the plot cracks
appear that it never got us nowhere near the muse
and probably only serves to confuse … quite a lot,
for the Ravens care not for the reds or for the blues.

Meanwhile …

Another supermarket goes up on the edge of town,
brownfield development more trees go down.
I’ve heard all the lines in this production,
leeches hanging on by suction,
nepotism, bribery and corruption,
and the sound of the Raven’s war cry erupts.

Shopkeepers shake their heads,
blame the junkies, blame the dreads.
Blame anyone but the real cause,
councillors twisting up the laws.
Quick! Better get an injunction!
Nepotism! Bribery! Corruption!
The Ravens of war shred the corpse with their claws.

Kids hanging out with nothing to do,
brought up on the promise of packing shoes
and renting out a room with no view. Well,
they’re all leaving town once they’ve finished school.

And the local wannabe tory wife is flaunting Foxy’s locks
and Turkey Lurkey, half alive, is banging up his lonely works.
You’d better run, run Reynard run. You’d better run for your life,
for there’s a sky full of Ravens all screaming for blood and for strife.

Three and twenty members of staff
browned their noses in the dark.
Four and twenty minus one,
who climbed right to the topmost
Silver Branch and sung out his heart
in praise of the rising sun,
and hoped that it would return
and that lighter times would come.

How can you be so small?
when the world needs you to give your all?
How can we be so small?
when the world needs us to give our all?

What happened to the socialists
who made so great a boast?
And all you new-age tories
and you hungry hippy ghosts?
For the red and blue shall fade away,
leaving only green upon the cold, wan hillside,
it may seem like waking from a dream,
but it’s going to happen, there and here,
you reckless loon, have faith not fear,
for the light will surely come.

Nightwing, nightwing,
I heard you sing till morning light.
Nightwing, nightwing,
guide us safely through the night.

Join the free discussion and share the ritual ration
while we’re waiting for the light to return
I’m calling on the Big Walkers, calling on the Standing Stoners,
waiting for the light to return.

The new moon
slithers in the sky;
blinking of an eye.

High above the trees
he sits and reads;
turning over new leaves.

Check the spiral pattern
as it cycles through the year;
Ain’t it funny how heart-drops
are shaped exactly like a tear?

Little joy; rising through the bark.
Precious boy; hiding from the dark.
Cover me with your gentle leaves,
wrap your branches round me as I breathe
around my heart and on my sleeve,
until it’s time, I do believe,
that the light has come.


Copyright 2006 Tim Hall

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