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

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 

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