Today, I thought I’d give you a poem – one filled with woe for Wednesday – Autumn mists have begun telling us that Winter is coming. Sorry it’s not more cheery, but I hope you enjoy it anyway
Raven hair pales to grey and she hurries her feet
though her tread falls silent on slow blueing hills
that curve in layers under widening skies
with rises and falls as soft as breaths
each wreathed in exhaled mist
Firm pale skin begins to sink into wrinkled folds
as down to a violet wooded vale she speeds
but limbs twist and stiffen with hastened years
stumbling, wild eyed, she runs and dread
nips hard at her bare heels.
The rising sun will soon drink deep of watered veils
and floods of lemon light will swamp the land
hurrying the aging of her flesh. A howl claws for release
she traps the beast behind clenched teeth
not yet to be released.
Heart stuttering she enters woods where Summer’s
leaves play games with bright and dark, but on and on
through fog chained trees and knotted roots
she limps where thorns and tangled briars
scratch withered arms and legs.
By the mossy bank of a shadowed river
she hobbles and peers up with rheumy eyes
then kneels and back her aching neck arches and
from her widened mouth she wails a name
of one to meet with death.
Rustling, the ancient willow weeps long leaf tears
into rushing wild waters that shatter on the rocks
as Cyhyraeth keens a name and bends to wash
to scrub dark stains from cloth with hands
too gnarled to feel or care.
Hard it is to keen the coming death of heroes
to warn a family of grave’s cold breath
the doom lies in the marrow of her bones
cold grief to freeze the blood, to age
her cursed and ravaged soul.
[ Cyhyraeth (kay-Hayraith): hag of the mists, Welsh form of the banshee]
All the best
R B Watkinson