alexconall: the Pleiades (Default)
Alex Conall, social justice bard ([personal profile] alexconall) wrote2015-09-09 07:31 pm

The Mountain's Call

The mountain kills its poets, and the mountain maddens bards:
the chair of the giant who slumbers here—it furiously guards
whatever secrets gifted once to those with fae regards.
Turn away, O would-be poet! Turn away, O hopeful bard!
You’re worth more living than inspired, more than Annwn’s discards.

Her name was Tesni, bright, warm, strong. Listener, take heed:
do not set foot alone on this mountainside, do not proceed
to sleep on its peak as young bards do, assured they’re guaranteed
to be the lucky one who lives and whose poetic need
will win them wisdom, fame, acclaim—beware: her corpse still bleeds.

Her name is Nia, and be warned, she lives in living hell:
her senses scrambled, language lost, unable to compel
her lips to speak any five straight words with meaning clear as well.
Her scribblings are nonsensical, her written words misspelled—
do not sleep on the Giant’s Chair, for it will be your farewell.

But you’ve heard of Taliesin, and you’ve heard of Morgan bright:
you think Ceridwen will bless you if you sleep on the peak tonight,
and Maman Brigitte will protect you across the sea—and yes, She might.
Bring candle flame and hazel twig; befriend the small well sprite;
I’ll see you dead—or mad—or bard—at coming of first light.

Young rhymer, now you’re on your way: there’s nothing I can do
to save your life with your mind set to see this challenge through.
I hope you listened and obey—you’ll win, and be imbued
with eerie talent, vatic sight, which the world will misconstrue.
Who cares? Please live, Brigitte’s girl! For I did, and so can you.

You’re better a living rhymer than dead poet, but your art
must drive you, to face the mountain or to tear yourself apart.
That’s crucial to survival. Poets haven’t quite a carte
blanche to address all ills of the world, but you’ve talent and you’ve heart.
Just win—just live—just write—that’s all the wisdom I’ll impart.

Creative Commons License
The Mountain's Call by Alex Conall is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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