The Taliesin Soliloquies: Wren


All the birds of the forest

gave me their plumage

except flower-face,

cursed of the sun.

I am the smallest

but I fly the highest.

Through my cunning

I become king.

Yet that crown places

a prized price on my head.


they hunt me at midwinter –

those wren boys,

sticky fingers reach

into my round nest

wren house.

King for a day,

then, cruelly slain.

As I must die

so the true king

within me

can live.

Cave-dweller, eaves-dropper,

doomed to dwell in a gilded cage.

Counting the numbered days

until my destiny’s sharp edge.

I must perish for my people,

the smallest must

become smaller.

With gramarye from cauldron-wrung,

wrench my quintessence


from the vengeful air.



Copyright © Kevan Manwaring 2017

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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