AVALLOCH AND AILLIN
I romp towards Broceliande
a slippery undine
shrieking silent paeans of wood lust
my face smeared with pitch
thighs shining with vetiver, tacky with blood.
Where are you?
Cloaked in mist, I huddle beneath pine boughs
breakfasting on fallen acorns.
I wait, and sing.
I have lost you to the dawn
running backwards to daylight
to your city
to timepieces and rough weather
to loved ones and gold coin and sour beer.
How could you have become lost among trees?
You, the huntsman who's plundered every acre of Bretagne?
How came you to the faery realm?
How, if not trapped by magic?
You ran me through
Herne to my Sadhbh
antlers singed in the spitting fire
hot meat juices dripping from your beard
to stain my breast the colour of venison.
Your semen swirls in my belly.
My teeth are imprinted on your spine.
You won't be leaving.
I could have been a mermaid
could have dragged you over rocks
knotted your fingers in my silver hair
offered you to any or all of my sisters
their combs in hand, cold hips floating.
I could have filled your lungs with salt and pearls
stopped your legs
kept you with me.
But I am alone in this.
I love you. I want you here.
An ageless and nubile forest nymph
I tempt you with peaty scotch and promises
luring you with apples and high sweet music
into the green and breathing temple of myself.
In Celidon Wood
nine dryads play at calixte twigs, the old game
dividing the contents of a buckskin pouch
squealing with delight as each receives a bauble in turn:
chunks of flint, silver coins, golden needles,
stubs of tallow candles, black feathers,
oat biscuits, a flask half-filled with honey mead,
a scarlet silk ribbon,
a tine of stag horn carved with Ogham,
a knife blade sticky with sap.
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