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Samhain Essay: Paying Respects - page 19 / 22





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"You had better read on then, and hope for some clues," she advised, turning back to her task.

That night, after a long day of planting oak trees and arranging a landscape with Dana, Dylan relaxed in a chair with a spiral notebook in his lap, regarding the pen in his hand. In the twenty-five years that had passed since inishing school, he had used this instrument of power mostly for the writing of checks and the filling out of bills. Seldom did he even write to his kin, many of whom lived far away. A medieval Welsh Triad from the book came into his mind:

Three things that enrich the poet: Myth Poetic power A store of ancient verse

The ecstatic feeling returned in a rush and his pen found the paper. Considering some of his life's elements, and weaving in knowledge gained from the book, he wrote:

Youthful sun beckons a new season's shoots Winter leaves carpet the old oak tree's roots Song of the Earth flowing upward in prayer Bass note of thunder rolls down through the air Melody strong let the new day begin A summoning call to the druid within A summoning call to the druid within

Old oaks and thunder bestir memories Of dark forests ancient with tall sacred trees Acorns and seedlings are what they have been The groves will return like the druid within The groves will return like the druid within

Sylvan cathedral a sacrifice burns In thanks to Earth spirits as the great year wheel turns Hooded forms chanting as magic begins To call 'cross the ages to the druid within To call 'cross the ages to the druid within


As they turned away from the image within the crystal, the Master Poet, with an amused look on his weathered face, asked, "What say you about these lines, Apprentice?"

"It may be that we attempt to turn base metal to gold, Master," he replied, "though rhyme and meter are passable."

"Because of his connection with the oak tree, gained by his diligent propagation and conservation of its species, this Dylan has unknowingly tapped the ancient power of druid magic. Therein lies the key to his journey, and it will enable him to express the essence of the realms he has mastered in the language of poetry," replied the Master.



Later, reading into the early morning hours, with Dana and their two young children long asleep, Dylan encountered the thirteenth century poem entitled:

`The Tale of Taliesin.' Primary Chief Bard am I to Elphin And my original country is the region of the summer stars I have been winged by the genius of the splendid crozier I have obtained the muse from the Cauldron of Cerridwen I have been in an uneasy chair above Spiral Castle And the whirling round without motion between the elements I shall be until the day of doom upon the face of the earth I was originally little Gwion And at length I am Taliesin

Taliesin! The power in that name and in the antique verse was so intense that Dylan could only shake his head and blow through pursed lips as poetic ecstacy once again coursed through him. "What is the story and meaning behind these lines? Why do I feel their words so strongly, as if I knew them well? How does the Muse inspire?" he asked himself in amazement. From his love of the sea and his long experience as a surfer, he was able to relate to the words:

...the whirling round without motion between the elements.

This was a fair description of surfing within the vortex of a curling wave - a barrel ride, which also happened to be an ecstatic experience. Too, the lines brought to mind the eye of a hurricane; the calm within the heart of that mighty elemental force beloved of wave riders. The pen in Dylan's hand moved toward the notebook, and words flowed:

Daughter of the Sun and Earth Scirocco has been given birth Libya's dunes feel her growing desire Whose shape shifting sands are the fuels of her fire She whirls on so lightly down through the Sudan To the Ivory Coast and Liberia's span

There as two passionate lovers they meet The white-capped Poseidon embraces her feet Above them are flying her bright cirrus tresses Far down below his blue face she caresses God of the sea and her most willing slave He joins in the dance of the wind and the wave

Westward she flies! - A scirocco no longer Unfurling her beauty, her love growing stronger The Lesser Antilles receives her clear eye

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