Tuesday, September 02, 2008


Deep in stone citadel
An oaken door with riveted steel
opens on sobbing hinges.
Brass keys jangle and captive Bere
cocks his head with sullen

Iron collar and chain
tether him to solid rock. He
paces in granite furrow.
Distanced respectfully, knowing his
power, I long to embrace -

My creature - Bere;
muscled, agile and powerful. Able
to slash a horse,
capsize chariot and crush invader.
A specter of Celtic dragon

His beautiful muscles
roll under heavy fur, like supple
sharks stalking
the grey deep. Flowing tissue
swells and abates. Molten

Freed, he may snarl
at some delicate effete and be driven
into unforgiving
banishment. I revere him but others fear.
With but one Master, Bere is

My heart longs to set
him free. A craving for his companionship
pulls me closer,
my hand slides to my waist. Calling -
his eyes entreat,

A touch on my arm -
I turn to his Master. She regards my
frustration tenderly
and plucks the keys from my belt.
Knowing I want him

We stand close with
her breast against my ribs, her eyes
fixed to mine;
a lover's gaze. She frets
that a part of me is

Bere's chain clanks
taut, he strains the moaning links
trying to come.
She moves to him, calms him
with caress - face in

Only a girl playing
until I yielded her Bere. My life
nearly gone.
Roused with purpose, she grew
into dauntless woman. My

She fastened Bere
in stronghold, softening my soul.
Athena adores,
nurtures, exercises - empowers him;
Sustaining his virility and

Feeding on my game;
white, torrid canines tear tissue.
Red splatters rock
Bruin revels raw taste of the kill.
Dark, bottomless eyes seek

The great head turns
to me - with importuned countenance
trying to talk
by drawing jowl. My eyes rivet to the
canines. I contemplate powerful

Turning, I feel his life
energy pulling at my back, the flow enshrouding
my legs making
me heavy, slow, as though I walk against
rolling white water of the

Struggling to the door
as if it were some distant shore, I reach it
because my Athena
leads me. "Some day you will need him," she
says, "He will be stung and

The door cried closed
slamming hollow in the tower. Shoes scuff
on spiraled stone
steps, ascending in synchrony, to the great
hall above. I stop her at the

She, a step above, turns
and pulls my face to her breasts and holds
me tightly.
I melt into them, my soul's white water
bubbling into deep, tranquil

Soon, I am satisfied that he
is accessible and she is in control. Balanced
on the step,
the firmness of her breasts push us
apart and she bends to

Girding my blade, I stare
out the long thin winnock at the world below.
Ready, I turn
seeing her pick up a brush, and move to the
stairs. I regard the sway of her

Athena stops at the tower
gate and says, "I brush him once more today."
I nod and
she fades into the tower like animated shade,
dissipating into memory -

In the sally port, I clatter
to my mount and the animal senses my peace,
whooshing great
tides of air from flared nostrils,
unfurling bunched muscles to

The bridge bangs to prone, clanking
chains snarling at their winch and sunlight
slashes a glare
at us from the top. The horse beneath
me explodes from quiet to torrent.

We clamber up the partially open
bridge and leap the remaing gap. I laugh at
his eagerness.
In the valley I turn to the fortress; staring,
knowing where I belong; where I

*Greek goddess of wisdom and prudent warfare

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At Thursday, 08 January, 2009 , Anonymous Keri said...

Amazing poem. I can't say I completely "get" it, but this is not uncommon and doesn't deter me! :)

I'm a fellow hospice worker . . . new physician. I learned about your site on Pallimed and am enjoying your writings. Thanks.



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