At the well, you reveal yourself to men
in your hideous phase, ask for a kiss
and all save one refuse. You, withered crone,
ask him to lie with you. He says yes,
and at dawn, you, a ravishing beauty,
say you are Eire, in her every guise —
beautiful, at times, ugly. You apprise
him — he’ll account for raids and plagues — duty
comes with the kingship. Sovereignty Goddess —
I search Eire’s holy wells for you. You alone
can right the unknown gessa, gone amiss,
so that I might be enthroned, once again,
Ard Ri not of Eire, nor any tuath,
but of my body — to walk upright on any path.
A retired NYC elementary school teacher, John Thomas Clark lives in Scarsdale, NY with his wife Ginny, his daughter Chris, his son John and Lex, his black lab service dog. Currently, ninety-three of his poems are appearing in OCEAN, Byline, The Centrifugal Eye, EFQ, The Healing Muse, Tiger’Äôs Eye and twenty-six other journals. The Joy of Lex — his light-hearted romp recounting life with Lex — will be published later this year.
Image: from Hero-Myths and Legends of the British Race, p. 275, by by Maud Isabel Ebbutt, 1910