o power! o merlin in your cloak of stars!

merlyn in his cloak of stars
o merlyn in your cloak of stars

o power!  o merlin in your cloak of stars!  your palms are zodiacs.

in your eyes slide snakes, in your ears eternal winds.  your nose filters

the scents of heaven out of chaos.  your tongue tells the wisdoms of worlds

sieved through the zodiac webs of your fingers like fishes through nets.


how can i tie them down to my wounded and cross-hatched palms,

those stars? step down my samhuinn howl to a shy imbolc of hope?

crown with a loving garland of healing herbs my well-trained dragon,

schooled in the ache of wisdom and the flowering death of a lie?


look how small i stand, wandjinna, in the circle here.  i am my craeb.

look how the grinning west and the near-tears east and the menacing north

breathe fire, sigh air, splash water in; and the stone-sullen south it is

who captures me, who pins my wings to the zodiac points of merlin’s palm.


out from the dark, crying tyranny of craeb, the lance in the cauldron heart,

the nail in the palm’s centre, the celestial pole, streamers of a perpetual mayday

ride out on waves of pain and waves of love.  serpents seek outwards

from my mind, my eyes, my ears, and from my many-tongued mouths.


basil the snake glides outwards like an ivy wreath. ivy the saint

winds outwards like a dancing harlot.  death in the berry black eyes of one,

poems in the scaly eyes of the venomous other. i have a thousand poems,

a thousand arms.  i am a thousand roads to travel song by song along.

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