‘Lldánach’ (“skilled in many arts”) by Paul Adrian

(“skilled in many arts”)

the mighty, the ragged, the hoary,
poet, wheelwright, harpist, blacksmith, champion,
who was threefold born, and leavened fire
whose wink could spook a horse
who smashed Balor’s baleful gaze through the back of his head
whose many wains were skinned with gorse
who breathed from his feet upwards
whose mind hovered over the still waters of Lough Kinale
who pondered astride the dead fields of Magh Tuireadh
who thought the perfect thought and named it nothing
who slit his palm and plunged it into the soil
who mixed a fistful of blood clay
who poured the loam over his dream
who fired the moment in the furnace of itself
who so cast a cauldron the shape of emptiness
who pissed from across the clearing and hit the mark
who filled it level to the lip without a spill
who pulled gargoyle faces at himself through the steam
who soon bored of childish games
who cleft his creation with the Spear of Assal
who rang a splitting muteness which deafened men
whose head had stepped away before his boots
who strode for the forest without a rearward peep
who left his water stood in the vessel’s form without the vessel
who so spun his own elemental monuments
and waded back into his mythologies
Paul Adrian was born and lives in West Yorkshire. His poem Robin in Flight won the National Poetry Competition 2010.

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