May Poem

May 1st, 2013 | By | Category: Robin Herne

Robin Herne is a storyteller, poet, artist, Druid and author of Old Gods, New Druids and Bard Song. He regularly speaks at Interfaith seminars, Pagan conventions, and other events as both a lecturer and a storyteller. He currently lives with his partner in Suffolk, England and is a founder member of both the Druid group Clan Ogma and the Ipswich Pagan Council. He is also proud to be the first winner of the title Chief Bard of the Fens!

The Invitation
The telephone wails in the chill hall,
Mother dear answers its soulless call.
We hear her bewilderment quite clear,
At an invitation queer. 

Uncle Carbuncle wants us to stay
At Toadsbank so very far away:
His great house in the fens, grim and dank
With walls moist and odour rank.

Dear Mother blusters to scant avail,
Swept on by Uncle, straw in a gale.
The train soon hauls us to Uncle’s claw,
Altar flames the feud to thaw. 

Far behind the last city is left,
Through fields and woods, of Wi-Fi bereft.
At line’s end the clanking old train yields,
Fens and bogs the station shields. 

Rasping and rattling, the hearse awaits.
Chauffeur sepulchral grins at our fates.
Ensconced in the rear, repenting sins
(Which saint watches over twins?). 

Toadsbank loiters in the Fenland murk,
Flaunting the laws of physics its quirk.
Aunt Anura flings open the doors,
Ribbits and claps gleeful paws. 

Biscuits and tea by a roaring hearth
(Raisins or squashed flies? We weakly laugh….)
Upstairs we hear hopping and hoarse cries,
Sister dear pointedly sighs. 

Uncle galumphs and greets, clammy hands
Grasp as he squeals, gibbering of bands
He wants us to join, talks of strange deals
As Auntie serves up marsh eels. 

We cannot sing!” we tell Uncle straight,
But on he rambles till an hour late,
Of how we must choose… so great a thrill…
Some words sink in with a chill. 

Not a musical troupe but a clique
Uncanny ~ at moon’s turn our choice bleak:
Which band shall we join? Whose dark arts learn?
For our dreary past we yearn. 

For three days and nights we beg and plead
Yet Uncle just laughs and Aunt won’t cede.
Nature cannot be stopped” her worn chant,
We’re trapped in a world aslant! 

Gloating moon over the Fenland looms.
Sobbing and shaking, dragged from our rooms,
Ludicrous all in pale linen swaged,
At the marsh island hope sagged. 

For out of the shadows forms emerge,
Less Man than beast our relatives surge.
Owl, snake and rat kin, all come to feast
Introductions never ceased. 

See where your heart leads!” Uncle all smiles,
Drums beat the rhythm, marking our trials.
Pounding within and without, blood heat
Raged through me and Sister sweet. 

She twists and writhes, an unwitting Shift
Watched by cousins keen for the Great Rift –
The chrysalis cracks, out comes the quean,
My sister all furred and lean. 

Hark the cry from the Clan of the Cat!
My sister no more, newly begat
I am changing, distending my jaw,
Hairy, howling, aching sore. 

Wolf-boy I am, but Uncle says no!
Boys can’t be hirsute or mighty, so…
I’m a man of the Wolf Clan, you’ll grant!
To town we’ll never transplant.

2 Comments to “May Poem”

  1. Mike says:

    Great post! This is the stuff that I live for reading. Thanks for sharing!

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