The Oak

“An oak grows between two lakes,
Very dark is the sky and the valley.
Unless I am mistaken
This is because of Lleu’s Flowers.”

Gwydion’s Englyn
The winged ones awake
and flutter in her arms.
Their songs are reverent to the rising sun.

She turns to seek his light,
inviting it within.
Her pollen is a love song on the wind.

Now pierced by brilliant rays
and ravenous for love,
her lover’s light reveals her heart to him.

Then thunder sounds a horn
and rain begins to fall.
It cools and soothes her for three days and nights.

Her love is now the rain.
and his affection flows
into the earth to feed her deepest roots.

A wounded eagle comes
and settles in her crown.
His life blood drips into the earth below.

Her roots send out her song
of love for sun and rain
and tells the tale of all she has become.

And soon enough the buds,
and tiny blossoms grow
to acorns sent by winged ones who
gladly spread her seed.

This poem grew as a tendril from the story of Blodeuwedd who in the Fourth Branch of the Welsh Mabinogi, was created by the wizard Gwydion from the blossoms of oak, meadowsweet and broom to be the wife for his adopted son Lleu.

All went well until Blodeuwedd fell in love with Gronw Pebr, a Hunter who convinced her to trick Lleu into revealing his mortal weaknesses so he could kill him with an arrow. Lleu did not die but was transformed into a wounded eagle eventually found by Gwydion in the branches of an Oak.

Gwydion was able to bring Lleu down from the Oak by reciting three verses of an englyn, a traditional Welsh short poem form that uses quantitative metres.

May these words bring truth
and healing through open hands and hearts.
And then, let it flow back into our Mother Earth
for the love of all her beings.


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