The Taliesin Soliloquies: Black Hen

Black Hen


There is no hiding from me.


I am the destroyer of worlds, I am Carrion’s Queen,

Valkyrie, Kali, Cailleach, the Morrigan,

the Washer at the Ford.


I will strip away all that is non-essential –

I will find your weakest point

and tear you apart.


And yet,

I only have your best intentions at heart,

I want you to show your truth.

I will only snatch you

if you stray from your path,

If you lose your centre.

If you lie to yourself.


I am the black mirror –

your soul’s dark night.

The blind maw, your worst fear,

the smothering mother

who on her young feeds.

Never fulfilled,

a raw hole of need.


Black Annis, Baba Yaga,

there’s no escaping my hunger.

Let me eat you, obliterate you,

taste your strength.


If you are strong, you will endure.


Denial is another dying.

Death only takes from you

what you refuse to give.

Release into

the serenity

of oblivion.


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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