Gelli Fach

Gelli Fach

I'm a cell, I'm fragmented, I change my form;
I'm a repository of song, I'm a dynamic state.
I love a wooded slope and a snug shelter,
and a creative poet who doesn't buy his advancement.

Wyf kell, wyf dellt, wyf datweirllet;
wyf llogell kerd, wyf lle ynnyet.
Karaf-y gorwyd a goreil clyt,
a bard a bryt ny pryn y ret.

From: Legendary Poems from the Book of Taliesin, edited and translated by Marged Haycock

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Winter Light

Winter Light

The sun is low and slant,
revealing the world from a different angle,
what was in shadow is now made bright.

But the light is visiting less and less:
the sleeping dark grows.

Now the glory of the trees is gone
we see their essence,
how the weather has shaped them -
this one twisted, that one bent,
turning away from the battering wind;
here one has grown rotten,
those two are standing so near
they lean together, supporting each other.

The sun shines through the branches
now leaves no longer obscure the view;
hidden landscapes open before us:
now we can see what is beyond.

Soon only a trickle of light leaks into the days
which shuffle on towards the solstice,
to the still point
where we close our eyes
and disappear

a short time

then we wake again.

Hilaire Wood 2013

Solstice Blessings! Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and may every good thing come your way in 2014.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Hymn to Cernunnos

Hymn to Cernunnos

ambiguous god whose antlers pierce borders;
who leaps along edges
made firm by his footprints,
drumming lightning out of the earth;

who inhabits the verge of the forest,
the meeting of terrains,
where diversity burgeons
safeguarding change;

who with enticing breath
calls the snake from its hole
to hold poison in his grip and liberate plenty:
fertility of earth, the sole source of abundance;

who presides over trade and exchange,
transforms that into this
eschewing the boundaries, 
for all things are fluid
that move through his hands;

who straddles time
making measurement meaningless
and roams where leaves shiver,
moving now into darkness, now into light,
shimmers through dimensions
wearing them as his cloak;

who holds life and death
in the span of his antlers,
sinuous glides through seasons and tides
which flow always onwards,
now wild with blood’s surge,
now slowing with reason;

who requires you to kneel
at the procession of life
yet demands your full presence,
unbroken, unbowed;

whom you must attend masked,
as self and not-self,
approaching the mystery of which he is master,
human and animal, holy chimera;

who mocks the poet’s art of linear words
which seek to unite all things that oppose  -
for who but a god can reconcile opposites
and blend them within his unparalleled flesh?   

Hilaire Wood 2013