Bardic Poetry: The Chair of the Sea

The Chair of the Sea

 

Sitting on the stone chair of Ynys Enlli,

surveying the azure ring of sea

encircling me like a gorsedd robe.

Astride the mountain-hill, 

eyes wide,

westering sun shining a bright road

to the Irish horizon.

Mona to the north –

faint, like the ghost of a grove.

Snowdonia’s fastness to the west

across the boar’s ear of the Llyn –

Eyri rising, a dream in the distance.

Gwyddno’s Bay sweeping south

to the blue stones of Preselli.

 

Nonchalant sheep and feathered skies

my only witness

as I sing my praises.

Finally awoken by awen,

alive in this sacred moment.

 

Counting cetaceans like saints –

twenty thousand, it’s told,

sanctify its weathered folds.

Four hundred and forty four acres

between man and his maker.

 

Here, where Merlin flies in his sleep,

the veil as thin as vellum,

the Divine glows

through the illuminated runes of ruins,

the vivid hues of the red and white lighthouse,

yellow dory, mustard lichen, seal-pup’s belly,

brown rams, black-backed cattle, wayward birds.

 

The book of my dream brought to life.

A road of many words to this point.

The sea’s ink waiting for its pen,

the parchment of sky to quench its thirst.

 

Kevan Manwaring

Bardsey Island, 18th -26th September 2005

(Ynys Enlli, the Island of Currents, is the Welsh name for Bardsey;

Môna, the druid’s name for Anglesey; Eyri, the old name for Snowdon)

 

From Thirteen Treasures, Kevan Manwaring, Awen 2008

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