By Michael R Burch
IT’S HALLOWEEN If evening falls on graveyard walls far softer than a sigh; if shadows fly moon-sickled skies, while children toss their heads uneasy in their beds, beware the witch's eye. . . If goblins loom within the gloom till playful pups grow terse; if birds give up their verse to comfort chicks they nurse, while children dream weird dreams of ugly, wiggly things, beware the serpent's curse. . . If spirits scream in haunted dreams while ancient sibyls rise to plague nightmarish skies one night without disguise, as children toss about uneasy, full of doubt, beware the Devil's lies . . . it's Halloween! THIN KIN Skeleton! Tell us what you lack ... the ability to love, your flesh so slack? Will we frighten you, grown as pale & unsound ... when we also haunt the unhallowed ground? THE WITCH her fingers draw into claws she cackles through rotting teeth ... u ask “are there witches?” pshaw! (yet she has my belief) THE WILD HUNT Few legends have inspired more poetry than those of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. These legends have their roots in a far older Celtic mythology than many realise. Here the names are ancient and compelling. Arthur becomes Artur or Artos, “the bear.” Bedivere becomes Bedwyr. Lancelot is Llenlleawc, Llwch Lleminiawg or Lluch Llauynnauc. Merlin is Myrddin. And there is an curious intermingling of Welsh and Irish names within these legends, indicating that some tales (and the names of the heroes and villains) were in all probability “borrowed” by one Celtic tribe from another. For instance, in the Welsh poem “Pa gur,” the Welsh Manawydan son of Llyr is clearly equivalent to the Irish Mannanan mac Lir. Near Devon, the hunters appear in the sky with Artur and Bedwyr sounding the call; and the others, laughing, go dashing by. They only appear when the moon is full: Valerin, the King of the Tangled Wood, and Valynt, the goodly King of Wales, Gawain and Owain and the hearty men who live on in many minstrels’ tales. They seek the white stag on a moonlit moor, or Torc Triath, the fabled boar, or Ysgithyrwyn, or Twrch Trwyth, the other mighty boars of myth. They appear, sometimes, on Halloween to chase the moon across the green, then fade into the shadowed hills where memory alone prevails. ('The Wild Hunt' was first published by Boston Poetry)
Michael R. Burch’s poems have been published by hundreds of literary journals, taught in high schools and colleges, translated into fourteen languages, incorporated into three plays and two operas, and set to music by seventeen composers.
PLEASE NOTE: ARTICLES CAN ONLY BE REPRODUCED IN OTHER SITES WITH DUE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO BORDERLESS JOURNAL