Sunday, March 9, 2014

Faerystruck Down

This is the poem that got me my first Rhysling Award nomination. Written after coming home from Ireland a few years ago. It was first published in Volume 9, Issue 1 of Tales of theTalisman.

Faerystruck Down 

In the rolling fog of the purple sea
Where slugs infest the ridge
      And breeze-bent heather
      Tethers ghosts of the drowned 

Beyond the threshold of the mind
Where sea hags howl at the moon
      And shapes unseen
      Sneak away human babes 

Lies the maritime trail I was warned not walk
Urged by patrons of the old pub
To return to America, and be gone at next breath:
      “For too tempting is the tourist from afar!” 

But I split my sides at their heathen pleas
Doused their cares with whiskey and ale
Till after a spell, I was cheered out of town
      Pushed along streets of leaping whispers 

So onward to accursed shores I went
Bold with humor and the prod of drink
      Where fish-lipped merrows in cohuleen druiths
      Leered from frothy kelp isles 

And the mutterings in belch-bogs grew ever near . . .
And the perverted, creeping shadows . . . 

I will never forget their dream-drenched faces
As they sang and danced and picked over my end
Their goblets high in the salty spray of the purple sea
      Where many a mortal bone now rests in the deep 

And in my last moments of earthly acquaintance,
Head a pivot and lit with fires green,
They branded my soul to the tongue of lore
      Forever to break out madly from seaside lips

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