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Merlin.


In the region of the summer stars

The journeyer rests awhile.

The wheel turns, as it always does.
Returning to earth, he takes form again.

Salmon, dove, hare, grain.
Otter, hawk, hound, hen pursue.

The child is born, the wind is fresh.
The young lad smells the nearby cows.
The youth joins in the songs
And dances to the fiddle and drum.
The man hears stories told.
He tells them again, changed yet the same.
With tales of many lands his head is full.
The young woman listens with joy to the stories.
He is tired. She opens the crack in the hawthorn tree.
He enters. She closes the crack and he rests.

When the tree opens again he emerges.
Is play his wisdom or is wisdom his play?

© Daniel Cohen

(This poem was written after a mask-making workshop led by my friend Jan Henning.  I called the mask I created “Man emerging from Hawthorn Tree” , and wrote this poem, which I later incorporated into a story about Merlin, as a result. The forms of salmon, dove, hare, grain and the corresponding pursuers come from the story of Taliesin, who I regard as closely connected to Merlin.)


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Mask: Man emerging from Hawthorn Tree by © Daniel Cohen