Tag Archives: story

Isle of Emain…

* 

A far distant isle

lies in leagues fifty-thrice

over the ocean to the west

larger than Erin, twice.

*

Many faceted Emain

encircled by sea

rising from tide into sky

an ever wondrous beauty.

*

On the fair isle of Emain

a hoary tree grows

its silver-laced branches

blossom like no-one yet knows.

*

Multi-hued birds

sing within the tree tops

on a white-silver plain

do dragon-stones drop.

*

Unheard is wailing

as sweet-music strikes ear

it issues through Emain

banishing all fear.

*

A band of nine women

come down from a height

over variegate plains

to the seaside, pure-white.

*

 Onward they run

to a stone shining-bright

for about it to dance

raising songs in the night.

*

The pure man arrives there

 rowing in on the flood

stirring the ocean

as sun turns to blood.

*

At dawn he arises

a delight to sore eyes

his coracle of bronze

illumining blue skies.

*

 A splendour of colour

glistens in the land

spreads its glorious range

over sea-washed sand.

*

The host he brings with him

for long ages stay

their beauty in freshness

knows not death nor decay.

*

In happiness and health now

their laughter peals loud

on Emain in each season

reigns joyousness proud.

*

My song to you all then

still in strife and in pain

you must voyage on the ocean

to the fair isle of Emain.

*

*

Egg of the Id…

*
When Fionn was a boy he was fostered on the hermit, Finaghast, who was to be his instructor.
The old hermit had been living by the river Boyne with the aim of catching the Salmon of Knowledge.
Tradition had it that the first person to taste the flesh of that salmon would receive
the gift of past and future sight and would become the wisest man in all Erin.
Finaghast had spent many years fishing in the river, hoping that
one day the Salmon of Knowledge would swim by.
*
One day, as Finaghast was pitching Fionn his, Auraicept, by the river, there were unusual stirrings in the water of the Boyne.
Old man and boy peered into the river and saw a beautiful, speckled salmon swimming swiftly towards them.
“The Salmon of Knowledge!” cried Finaghast running for his fish-net.
As he returned to the river-bank with the fish-net to hand, the Salmon of Knowledge leapt out of the water and gazed into his eyes.
*
Finaghast-the-Hermit, immediately collapsed to the ground in a deep sleep, for it was an ability of the Salmon that whosoever its gaze first fell upon when breaching the water course would always be put into such a condition.
Fionn ran to Finaghast and attempted to shake him awake, but to no avail.
With his instructor lost to the world it was left to the pupil to land the fish, which Fionn did, eventually, after an almighty tussle.
Still unable to wake his instructor, Fionn, set about cooking the salmon in the hope that the aroma of the broiling fish would bring old Finaghast round.
It nearly worked too, but just as the fish was softening nicely, and Finaghast began to stir, a drop from the boiling pot fizzed out and caught Fionn plumb on his thumb, so scalding him.
Fionn instinctively stuck his thumb into his mouth to cool it.
*
When Finaghast woke from his sleep he noticed a great change in his young pupil.
There was a light behind his eyes, like that of a flame, and his cheeks were glowing brightly.
“Fionn, did you eat of the salmon?” asked Finaghast.
“I did not eat of the salmon,” said Fionn.
“Fionn did you taste any of the salmon at all?” asked Finaghast.
Fionn then explained all that had happened and the old hermit realised that the grace of wisdom had been granted, not to him, but to his foster son…
*

Craft of the White-Crow…

*

Whiter than the swan on a lake

Whiter than the gull of the stream

Whiter than snow on the high-peak.

*

Like a wave of the sea from ebb to flood

Slender as the tall-birch, blowing…

Of a shape-sweet as full bodied clover, bobbing…

Of a colour-fair as summer’s bright morn, glowing…

Your presence, the dawning glory of the land.

*

Lovely the sun’s smile, rising…

Lovely the moon’s sheen, climbing…

 Lovely the stars gleam, shining…

 More lovely, the blush of your cheek.

*

Mister Fawst! Study…

 

*

Mister Fawst: (Rises to stand, still clutching the weighty tome to his chest. He walks in front of his study desk reading out loud.) ‘I think, therefore, I am’… Hrmph, but if life is no greater a miracle than to think? Then, surely, I need read no more…

Mephisto: (From behind the Veil of Beyond) Surely, a greater subject befits Fawst’s wit!

Mister Fawst: (Still showing no signs that he has heard Mephisto) Pah! I have that… (He casts the tome to the floor in the East and returns to his desk.)

Ira and Luxuria are seated simultaneously.

Mister Fawst: (Once at his desk Fawst scrutines the other books on his desk and selects one.) ‘The way that can be named is not the way’… (Fawst considers the proposition as he moves to the West) Hmm, the unamed way would be difficult if not impossible to formulate, let alone think about, and then follow. Could it even be seen? And if unseen and hence to all intents and purposes unknown, of what possible use could it be?

Mephisto: (Moves out from Beyond the Veil and perches on the edge of Fawst’s desk) A great man should be both seen and heard. Why, how else will his disciples know who and who not to follow…

Mister Fawst: (Apparently, neither seeing nor hearing the entity in his study) Enough of obscurity! The miasma of mystery will not further my ends. (Fawst casts the book to the floor of the West and returns to his desk)

Avaritia and Invidia are seated simultaneously.

Mephisto: (Watches Fawst move back to his study desk with no little amusement. He rises from his perch and points to one of the books on the desk.)

Mister Fawst: (Seemingly of his own volition, picks up the indicated tome from his desk) ‘The reward of sin is death!’ (Fawst wheels away from his desk and heads to the North)

Mephisto: (Throws back his head and laughs loudly) Ha Ha Ha…

Mister Fawst: (On reaching the North) But this saying is hard… If we say we have no sin… We lie… We sin… We die…

Mephisto: (Still unseen and unheard by Fawst) What doctrine call you this?

Mister Fawst: Che sera sera… Divinity, so long! (He casts the book to the floor of the North and returns to his desk.)

Tristitia and Gula are seated simultaneously.

To be continued…

Caladur: Visions…

*

The hermit showed Ewan a path

which led under the cliff, into the wood,

and on to a thorn tree beneath which was a well-spring.

He bade Ewan return to him at night-fall with his visions…

“Become not weary of looking,” he said, “what you seek lies

within the purvey of spirits, and that takes time.”

*

So Ewan took the path and found the well-spring,

which had been furnished with a hexagonal stone well-head.

He peered over the rim of the well-head and into the water,

but all he could see was his own visgae and the thorn tree behind it.

*

Three times Ewan peered into the well and he looked longer

and harder each time until just as he was wearying of the endeavour,

the water in the well, clouded and cleared so that it was as if

he was peering into another world.

 

Caladur: Still Water…

*

…”Surely I heard a voice,” said Ewan,

“although that voice was neither mine nor yours?”

“I heard it too,” said the hermit,

“and many more like it before. In solitude

there will be voices as in still water, there are visions.”

*

As Ewan thought on those words he saw only before him,

the racing, tumbling, burbling stream outside.

“Where is the still water of your visions?”

“Not far,” said the hermit,

“but the looking is longer than way that reaches it.”

 

Caladur: Stream…

*

In the morning the hermit set two bowls

of milk with bread on the table,

and Ewan sat where the murmuring

of the stream outside came in at the window,

and a soft air came with it, and made his world anew.

*

Ewan ate with few words for his tomorrow had come

and still he knew not whether to stay or go…

He looked at the hermit as he thought,

and the hermit looked back and nodded,

as if he had heard all he was thinking.

*

At one time there was a voice which said simply,

‘For delight men stay but for desire they go on.’

An again the hermit nodded, though he had spoken no words.

*

 

Caladur: Twilight…

*

…When Ewan looked at the hermit’s face

he could hardly see it for the twilight

was covering him little by little…

Only, his two eyes stood out clearer in the fading light,

and Ewan’s heart lay open to them like water to stars.

*

‘The words I told him not,’ thought Ewan,

‘He has gleaned them with those eyes!’

*

Then the hermit stood up and went out.

When he returned he had brought heather and fern

and he made up a bed for Ewan beyond his own.

They slept as darkness descended.

 

Caladur: Wayward and Wise…

*

…But the hermit spoke on, “The part of a man

is to know whether his desire be a wise child or a wayward one.”

“And if a wayward child?” asked Ewan.

“Then swiftly will he be led wandering,

and just as swiftly left to wander,” said the hermit.

“And if a wise child?” asked Ewan.

“The wise child will never completely leave the wanderer,” said the hermit.

“How so can this be true?” asked Ewan.

“By nature,” replied the hermit, “for every man is that which has been,

and that which shall be.”

And Ewan was yet more astonished.