While this is officially my 30th and qualifying poem of NaPoWriMo, it is far from the last in this ongoing epic of Irish mythology. If you’ve enjoyed my narrative so far, please stay tuned for the continuation of this project! I wager we’re only about halfway through… so with that, sonnet #21:
- The Appeal
Enlivened were the King and Queen to see
the face of fae among their roaming kin,
for days of grief outweighed their days of glee
since Angus and his song of love grew thin.
If faery feasts were liberal in their spread,
this mortal banquet proved more lavish still:
a week had passed in wine and meat and bread
before the delegation spoke their will:
the Dagda told the rulers of their plight,
of how his son’s distress had been evinced
by want of Caer, the goddess in the night,
the daughter of a Connacht faery prince.
He asked them, by their grace and ruling hand,
to bend the Father-Prince to their command.
Poem 29 — second-to-last of the month! — via sonnet 20 of the Irish mythological epic. While I’m not totally satisfied with this one (regarding both structure and placement in the tale), I am excited to have written 280 lines in this epic poem — with many more to come! There will always be time to edit later.
- The Question of Mortals
With haste, the Dagda and the Scarlet King
assembled guards and servants of their clans
to march with them through wood and faery ring
to seek their equals in the realm of Man.
Though weighty was the power of their kind,
and binding was the impact of their oaths,
the mortals of the era had refined
some artistry and magic of their own:
when men and gods competed for their fates,
such wise defense was often paramount,
but allies with such might and magic great
could join the fae and strengthen their account.
To Connacht, then, the small assembly rode
to seek the mortal hosts at their abode.
Poem 28: some unexpected rhyme play.
silver and white
watching the night
push and then pull
hidden to full
eye of the flood
voice in the blood
flow and then ebb
home in the dark
crazy and old
so we are told
wiser than men
27th poem for April, 19th in the Irish epic:
- The Royal Counsel
At Munster’s keep, the Scarlet King convened
a meeting of the Dagda and their train
to help decide the method and the means
of winning Caer to Angus’s campaign.
He spoke at length of Connacht, where he knew
the father of the maiden claimed his land:
King Ethal and his faerie retinue
could grant the Lord his daughter’s artful hand.
But mortal country lay between their reach,
administered by monarchs of its own,
and so the court of fae must then beseech
the worldly King and Queen before their throne.
And so the faerie’s plans were thusly laid
to seek the mortal rulers and their aid.
A short break from the current project for some less organized thoughts and feelings. Number 26:
a ball bearing
between two magnets
unable to bear
iron in the blood
but not the will
but still somewhere
with the poles
on either side
in a kinetic world
25th poem of the month, #18 of the sonnet-epic:
- The Rising Doubt
As Caer and her companions sang their tune,
the Scarlet King and Angus stayed discreet;
the Lord of Love again began to swoon
and wondered were it wise that they still meet:
“Her power goes beyond her dreaming spells,
and far beyond the talent of my art.
And even as my aching for her swells,
I’ve not the strength to carry off her heart.”
“My boy,” the Scarlet King replied in turn,
“A chance this ripe is seldom so at hand!
And yet, there is some truth in your concern…
So let us ride, and craft another plan.”
With hope, the king returned them through the night,
but Angus felt the waning of his might.
Went from a couple days ahead to a day behind schedule, but here’s NaPo poem #24, sonnet 17 of the ongoing mythical saga:
- The Lake of the Dragon’s Mouth
Beyond the Munster borders by a day
and into dusk, beneath the setting sun,
the company arrived by winding way
before the shining lake where dreams were spun:
the Dragon’s Mouth seemed wreathed in golden fire
as rays of sunlight danced upon the pool
to stir imagination — and desire
of guarded treasure, whether flesh or jewel.
As darkness came, a humming soon was heard:
the voice of many maidens on the sands
flew proud across the lake, like singing birds
to rival any call of beast or man.
Above them all, a voice as pure and clear
as moonlight bore the melody of Caer.
Disclaimer: I have no idea how far it is from Munster to Connacht, nor whether the borders of those ancient provinces (nations? principalities?) reflect the modern counties — NOR do I have a healthy grasp of the methods of travel available, so my assumption that the journey takes about a day could be phenomenally inaccurate. But hey, it’s a myth, right? There’s margin for error in the supernatural.
NaPo poem 23, saga sonnet 16 (say that five times fast):
- The Welcoming
Some days it took to rally and prepare
a caravan with Munster as their end;
while several more it took to bring them there,
the troupe, at length, was well-received as friends.
For far too long had Angus pined and moped,
his appetite so markedly decreased,
but finally, this glimpse of happy hope
had stoked his hunger for a proper feast.
For three abundant days they ate their fill
and slept, with ease, for three relaxing nights
before the Lord of Love regained his will
to seek the one on whom he’d set his sights.
The Scarlet King then led him to the shore
where Caer and all her court were seen before.
Poem number 22 for the month, sonnet 15 of the tale of Caer and Angus:
- The Invitation
Such joy had overcome the Dagda’s hold
upon the glad delivery of this word,
a toast was made for all that they were told,
but more, they shortly learned, was to be heard.
The envoy of the faithful Scarlet King
explained a warm proposal from his lord:
to ease his neighbors’ grief and suffering,
an ample feast would honor their accord.
The Lord of Love and all his retinue
would dine with them, then rally at the Lake
to see the lovely maiden and pursue
the object of his passion and his ache.
With eagerness, the Father-King agreed
and blessed the messenger with grace and speed.
NaPo poem #21, sonnet 14 of the Irish mythical saga:
- The Final Search
The Scarlet King had sent his truest aid
in haste upon his bravest, swiftest horse
to tell of the discoveries he had made
in tracking down the maiden’s cryptic course:
For months, his scouts and riders swept the land:
they traveled east to west, and north to south,
and finally, beneath his wise command,
they found the lake they call the Dragon’s Mouth.
Thrice fifty youthful maidens there consort
upon its placid waters, cool and clear;
they answer to the mistress of their court,
the mystic maiden goddess known as Caer.
Her beauty and enchantment, so esteemed,
uphold the tale of Angus and his dream.