The Taliesin Soliloquies: Otter


I am water-dog, wave-dancer,

the river, my playground.

Sleek-head, ripple-eye,

the wet flames of my fur,

the dripping snout of my muzzle

hiding a grin of fangs.

I am the comedian of death,

fate’s fool,

I shall hunt you down,

be your shadow,

never ceasing.

when the time is right,

I shall pounce, seize you in my jaws,

and you’ll not stand a chance.

You’ll be mine –

hook, line, and sinker.

And yet,

I am a child of joy,

I know the secret of play.

I’ll dry your feet, saint or no,

and await your blessing.

I’ll cover your harp,

I’ll keep you from harm.

Fill me with red gold, Hreidmar’s eldest,

the blood-price of the magician’s son.

Watch me dance in the brightening current

and you’ll forget your woes.

Yet once my teeth are in you,

There is no escape.

Cold-hearted kelpie,

I will drown you in my element –

my river shall be your grave.


Copyright © Kevan Manwaring 2010

way of awen by me

From ‘The Taliesin Soliloquies’, originally published in The Way of Awen: journey of a bard, O Books 2010; to be included in the forthcoming Silver Branch: bardic poems by Kevan Manwaring, Awen, 2017



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