Tuesday, 8 December 2015


The storm on Friday night felled the old horse chestnut tree in the wood behind my house. In Autumn when the leaves fall from a horse chestnut it leaves a scar on the twig which resembles an inverted horse shoe with nail holes. It started me thinking about the Goddess Epona again. Epona was called 'Mare' (MAH-ray) by the Irish of Dalriada, she was the bringer of dreams good and bad. The English word 'nightmare' is derived from her Irish name and her association with horses and dreams. Epona is often depicted riding a white horse. Anyway all these thoughts swirling around in my head found their way out in a poem.


Beneath the gnarled contorted skin
A nightmare stirred deep within
She feared not the baying pack
It wasn't her scent the rabid beasts tracked
Their quarry, her protector, her cage
Who's ravaged ageing frame
Stood testimony to countless battles raged
Against Winter gales and torrential rain
He'd held his ground
He remained unslain

In for the kill the howling hounds attacked
Splitting, stripping
The wooden armour from his back
Eighty strong they tore at him
Ripping limb for limb
Then I heard that final ear splitting crack
Slain, his dismembered trunk
Lay strewn across a storm teared track
Now freed from a Horse Chestnut skin
A white nightmare soared from deep within

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