Till I Came to Cad Goddeu

"What is the imagination of trees." –Taliesin, Hostile Confederacy


Upon the sea, full sail, well-laden ships come to safe harbors

Tended by lotus-eaters and queens, princes and priestesses

Fires quenched, caravans loaded, trading done, blood unspilled

Upon the land, the White Goddess calls the sun to Solstice day

Beyond the Pillars salmon dance Poseidon’s wine-dark caprice

The gulls cry "Manannan" far from shore

Birds and fish joust in the ageless surf

And men ply the Aeolian currents

To make landfall on this welcoming breeze

Before our White Goddess raises the night from the far horizon

A bard and his warrior shadow whirl on the moonlit mound

His poem and the space they fill celebrate an endless Quest

Stones and sky tell all

The road is home

The horizon is hearth

The wind is hymn

The stride is here

The breath is now

The song is true

Smoky rooms on the upper floors of great houses

Filled with strange gods and precocious children

Raising laughter and melodies to lift the Full Moon

From dusky scarlet pews

To its starry velvet altar

Calling us to follow

And we do

Companions lost, too, confused by the halls of the great houses,

Some by chance or fate, most by their own foolish ways

There is no light there

But what you bring as your own

Every woman is some manner of Fey

None are not magic

Kore become Branwen

The evil she conjures is her only shame

The evil she pays to the deeds of men

Is the shame of their manly gods

Her touch, and all her good,

The blessed secret of her—is her own

Two paths from these summer seaside climes

To the winter islands shrouded by mists and mysteries

The trail up river to where the mountains meet

The sail west beyond the world then north toward its top

Our going and our coming back

Pressed by angry tribes along rocky summits

Or angry winds cresting great waves

Every hostile ridge of ice or ocean another step from home

We seek the tin marrow to weld our copper sinews

Our strength the amber and bronze that crown our journey!

Our songs betroth us to our children

Our waking courts our dreaming

Mystery unwound by Hymn

Life unbound by Death

Our singers share the same sky, heart, and chariot,

Their tales are told from Boeotia to Britanny

By the Hermetian lyre of minstrels of the Tuatha de Danaan

The chorus of Achaeans and Cymry

Tell of the same goddess and her lovers

Hear the same symphony of the winds

As poplar and birch, willow and ash

Alder, beech, and "courtly pine"

I did not know this

Till I came to Cad Goddeu

Peter Ahrens

Autumn 2011

Nexial Quest (c) Pete Ahrens 1999 - 2012