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The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Poem: "Merlin's Return"

This poem was written outside the fishbowl sessions, inspired by a comment from kestrels_nest.  It has been sponsored by Shirley Barrette.  Read about the Manx shearwater, merlin, red grouse, and whooper swan. I also researched the Welsh triple harp.  You can find the other poems in the Fledgling Grace series via the Serial Poetry page. 

Merlin's Return

At first the Fledging brought
the common birds to common people
like the red grouse of the moorfolk
with its rufous wings and black tail
in the flat scrublands of Wales, or
the Manx shearwater whose bicolored wings
winked black and white, back and belly,
above the Isle of Man where fishermen lived.

Next came those descended
from the old royal lines
who bore the huge white wings
of the whooper swan
like the princes and princesses
out of the long-told legends.

Then one day an old harper woke
to find himself with long pointed wings
of distinctive blue-grey above
and brown-streaked buff below,
his banded tail tipped broadly in black
and very narrowly in white.

Everyone was getting feathers nowadays,
and so he thought nothing of it,
merely lugged his gear to the corner
of the farmer's market where he played
the Telyn deires, the Welsh triple harp.

The children noticed, though.
They recognized those keen blue-grey wings
from the schoolbooks and the fields
and the stories that the old man told
between songs in Welsh or Irish or Manx.

"Merlin," they whispered,
"Merlin has come!"

There were others after that, of course,
storytellers and musicians,
bohemian wanderers and other bards --
even a few artists surprised at their easels --
from all around the counties of Wales
who sprouted the wings of
Falco columbarius.

There were others afterwards,
but he was the first,
so no matter how much he protested
that he was just a humble harper
and not any sort of wizard at all,

Merlin he remained,
and wherever he went,
everyone listened to whatever he played.

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2 comments or Leave a comment
From: technoshaman Date: November 24th, 2012 02:49 am (UTC) (Link)
I suspect you might end up with similar plumage... :)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 24th, 2012 03:47 am (UTC) (Link)


*bask, preen*

That's very sweet of you. It's certainly possible: I have Celtic heritage, along with many others. Merlin or poi bird would probably be my best guess.
2 comments or Leave a comment