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VxPoem ID: 39995
Posted: April 6th. 2011 1:33:44 PM
To Fallen Pagan Soldiers (for Memorial Day)
by Lady Raokhsha
Age Group: Adult
The Morrigan's Love
(by Lady Raokhsha; for the first pagan Memorial Day ritual at Cathedral in the Pines, Rindge NH 1997)
They worked the land and they worked with the land. They understood the tides of the Earth and of their lives. They loved the Lady– the Earth Mother– and were willing to defend Her, to die for Her.
Lady of the Apple Trees; Keeper of the Western Breeze– we remember.
Guardian of the Sacred Well; Speaker of the Healing Spell– we remember.
Mistress of the Dark Moon Night; Onyx Raven, bold in flight– we remember.
Bean Sidhe by the river ford; Wielder of the Sacred Sword– we remember.
Goddess of Life, Death, Rebirth; Ancient One, Oh Mother Earth– we remember.
Morrigan, we remember.
They were warriors, then– and they had warriors' souls. Every warrior knew that one day– one magnificent and hellish day– he would come face to face with Her. That he would hear Her call his name. That he would go to Her, would go with Her, to a place beyond this world. On the battlefield, he would both fear and long for that rendezvous...
That chance meeting when he– no matter what the true reality of the man– when he, as a handsome and vital young warrior, would come upon a river. The trees would be in full flower and the grasses green. Sunshine and birdsong would fill the sweet perfumed air. And the lovely hypnotic music of a maiden's song would fill his senses with a dizzying languor.
He would approach her and discover a maiden dressed in a flowing gown of many colors and with hair as red as the sunset. Her eyes were as blue as ice and she was more beautiful than any he had ever imagined, and she would call him by name!
...Surprised that she would know his name, he questioned her, “I am a soldier journeying to join my company in battle, and I am a stranger in this land– how is it that you would know my name?”
“I am but a modest maiden who wishes to serve, my lord. See, I have washed your armor for you, that you will be victorious in battle.”
As they spoke, their eyes never left each other, and in the moments that seemed to last forever, the bond between them grew. As she helped him don his armor, he turned to her and drew her into his arms. Their lips met and they stood in that river, with arms entwined– locked in an exquisite embrace.
He started– remembering the urgency of his call to battle– and in the course of his rush to resume his journey, he called back to her, “I will return. I will find you again.”
And she called after him, “I will wait for you alone.”
...He did seek her– in his dreams, and in the full course of the battle– and She found him there and lay with him.
In our lifetimes the world has forgotten the way of the true warrior– the dedication to a cause, the all–consuming passion for the battle, the knowledge and the fear of death. We no longer look our enemy in the eye, no longer touch his flesh– for all that can be done impersonally by the machines of war. We can so easily forget the mixed emotions of the warrior– the desire to live on and be among his loved ones... or to die in battle and be remembered as a hero. Waiting to meet Her during the battle, to know that loving Her is loving Death– sweet, sweet, beautiful Death. Today's pagan soldier still claims that right. But even the warrior-by-chance, somehow– deep within himself– knows that he may meet Her.
And every soldier who has ever fallen in battle has fallen into the arms of a woman– this Woman– and every pagan soldier has known Her name. Together, entwined in the final embrace of their sacred marriage, they take part in the never-ending cycle of life and death and rebirth.
Let all who have returned from the Outer Reaches to be with us here bear witness now as we honor that cycle. Let the colors of our Lady represent a Maiden's love, a Mother's caring and the Crone's receiving of the fallen soldier... For all that dies shall be reborn...
Fallen one, lover, son,
Leaper in the Corn–
Deep in the Mother
Die and be reborn.
Welcome home, fallen brethren. Welcome home.
Author's Notes: This piece was too short to publish as an essay, and so I have resubmitted it as poetry -- which it actually is not.
I wish to share it and hope that this venue is acceptable.
Author's Location: Pikesville, Maryland
More Poems: Lady Raokhsha has posted 4 additional poems- View them?
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