Kestrel's Nest

The Seventh Year - 2008/9


Blodeu - Flowers

For seven months I wrote nothing. Then a curious set of synchronicities brought this forth. Anyone who has read the Fourth Branch of the Mabinogi knows the tale of Blodeuedd (flowers) who became Blodeuwedd (flower-face). The first and last lines come from Alan Garner's 'The Owl Service'.

She wants to be flowers but they make her owls.

Flowers are free, they have consciousness,
but not the consciousness of man.
Math and Gwydion, through their magic,
gave her a brain, human yet not human;
they imprisoned her in a body of flesh
when all she wanted was green stems.

Then they gave her to a man, or was he?
A strange thing, a small thing of his mother's
yet not born from a womb of flesh but from
a box like an incubated chick. Rejected by
his mother and destined by her to a destiny
without love. They tried to break that fate.

Chained together they were, a man with no love
in his heart and a woman made of flowers.
Broom, meadowsweet and oak, longing
for the soft wind of the valley. And a man came
as free as she, and loved her as freely. Gronw
his name, Lord of Penllyn. And she gave him love.

And if you chain nature, so nature will rebel,
and so did she. The unkillable was killed but not
so well his father could not restore this bird born
chick from eagle's form back to that of a man.
And his loveless hate was as strong to pierce a stone
and kill her lover. And they made her an owl.

And now her shrieking cry can be heard against
the moon as, hated bird, she flies her nightly course
amongst the stars. Flower faced but no longer flowers
she hurls her pain towards the skies. And still now
that pierced stone stands in Nantlle, as memorial
to her love and to her fate who only wanted to be free.

She wants to be flowers but they make her owls.

© Angela Grant (Kestrel) 31/5/2009

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Gaia and Pandora

No sooner had I finished one poem than I began on another. The Muse that had deserted me seems to have returned with renewed strength. This poem arose from a certainty that we as a world are busy destroying that world. My head tells me to be pessimistic but in my heart hope still remains.

She is azure blue and purest white. Her ever-moving patterns
form intricate designs as complex as the life she carries
in a myriad of wondrous forms. But in this rare paradise
lies a monstrous force that too fast devours this grand design,
destroying the very nature on which it feeds; consuming the living
flesh of the world. And we do nothing. We do nothing for it is we
ourselves that guide this beast. We cannot help ourselves, we have to
feed, to clothe ourselves, to seek all the instruments of pleasure this world
can provide, and, in our needy scurryings, endanger that which gives us
life. We cannot stop ourselves, we cannot deny ourselves and we will not
'til we destroy ourselves and our home, this rare and beauteous jewel in space,
with our never-ending need. All will be destroyed, all, all, save hope alone,
the one yet living star that may still hail a truly longed for dawn…

© Angela Grant (Kestrel) 9/6/2009

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So I get back to college and what happens? I fall ill again. Thankfully not with the problem I had before but with a simple bug, probably 'flu, so my supervisor banished me to my bed. As I lay there looking out of the window of my college flat I fell to musing, watching the leaves falling from the trees and the changing colours of the sky. The following was the result…

Sometimes you come softly,
out of the mist, in the scent of woodland,
and touch me gently, oh, so gently,
and your touch reminds me of all I am,
all I could be, and all I have been.

Sometimes you come wildly,
in the howling gale, rain smashing on my face,
and you grab, and I feel you inside me,
and the fierce excitement
makes me yearn for my youth again.

Sometimes I see your face
in the crazy pattern of a tree root bark,
or in scurrying leaves in a dry east wind,
or in the uncurling of a fern frond at springtime,
or in the waves pulling at pebbles on a summer beach.

And when I see you, I yearn for you,
your touch, rough and gentle,
the excitement of seed-harvest,
and the burning cold of ice.

I live fully only in your presence.
Oh, come soon, come to me soon!

© Angela Grant (Kestrel) 27/10/2009