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Tuesday, 10 August 2010

The Lykewake Of Morag: A Poem By Pete Marshall


The Lykewake Of Morag: 
A Poem By Pete Marshall

The crows would circle high above
As death would waken on the ground
A hand would stretch and flick its claws
To trap the prey that swooped on down.
As feathers fell on sodden earth
And float as boats upon the breeze
Bones would crunch and blood would splay
That fed the Scarecrows dark disease.

The haar would creep along the links
As song was heard beyond the hill
The tabor marked the lykewake start
As clans would bow and mourn their still.
Upon the beach the waves would crash
And curse and spit their maddened angst
The mortcloth lay across her soul
As friends would come and offer thanks.

Through wynd and vennel souls would part
As spirits fled the darkened streets
The Scarecrow watched in silent thought
Whilst winds would blow through mans deceit.
And dirks were drawn at Morag’s hame
As Chiefs would curse their spoken vow
Blades would clash and wounds were deep 
But one remained to tell this tale…….

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This is my poem for One Shot Wednesday, run by One Stop Poetry, a fast growing community for poets & writers of all genres to share their work, express and make friends

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Image courtesy creative commons flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/artbel/

70 comments:

Brian Miller said...

epic pete...particularly the last stanza...bet you wrestled with that one. smiles. happy oneshot!

PattiKen said...

Wow. I had to do some research on this one. Amazing job capturing the form and flavor of the ancient dirge.

I always thought scarecrows were... well, scary. Stephen King would be proud.

dustus said...

Very dark and well executed. That last stanza is killer. Okay, enough with the death puns. lol Your poem shows great imagination and care for craft. cheers, mate!

signed...bkm said...

love it peter, love the clans..go to the games yearly and oh we do love the hearty clans...bkm

Pete Marshall said...

Hi Bri...thanks for your comments..yeah i had fun putting that one together..cheers Pete

Pete Marshall said...

Hi Patti..loved your comments. Hope you enjoyed the research and it made more sense...cheers Pete

Pete Marshall said...

Hi Adam..thanks.. thoroughly enjoyed writing this one and getting into he language..cheers Pete

Pete Marshall said...

Hi BKM glad you liked it..thought you might pick me up on some of it but seems i have passed LOl

John's comments said...

a good bardic tale with strong "show rather the tell" lines that make it evocative. Also use of language and spelling to give it a period feel. I have posted two poems this week. On not saying hello is new but Kingpin Baby was posted up on a quiet Sunday so I thought I’d give it another outing. Both are adaption of different formal poetry forms – pantoum and sonnet.

Pete Marshall said...

Hi John and thanks for your comments..i love my work to be descriptive and capture a scene, with this the language was important to set its period..cheers Pete

Desert Rose said...

WOW..Pete! this is brilliant..!!!!!!!
these lines took me..

As Chiefs would curse their spoken vow
Blades would clash and wounds were deep
But one remained to tell this tale…….

very very well written,it shows a hard struggle yet it came out marvelously..beautiful!

Glynn said...

I love story poems, and this is a beautiful one.

Maureen said...

This one, which takes me back to my medieval lit class of 35 years ago, calls out to be read aloud in a deep voice.

Dark, evocative imagery.

"But one remained to tell this tale" is a wonderful concluding line.

Tony Single said...

Pete, I'm at a loss for words here. This had a dark and primal tone to it that hooked me from the first line. And it freaking scared me... just a little bit mind. I'm not a total wuss. Much. :P

SuziCate said...

LOVE that last line!!!!!!!! That was quite a tale glad it was able to be told!

emily wierenga said...

THIS is talent.

Teresa said...

Excellent job of the ancient form. Truly epic in its flavor and tone.

Beachanny said...

Excellent. I really loved this piece. W.B. Yeats would love this piece and it put me in mind of Yeats and that for me is saying a lot. Great imagery, set pattern well written and your rhymes and rhythms work so well. Wonderful!

anthonynorth said...

I love the old worldy feel of this. And a great sense of darkness to it.

Pete Marshall said...

Desert rose..i am glad you liked it

Glynn..i could see you reading that

Maureen...i want to learn more about your medieval lit class

Tony..thanks for those comments, no not a wuss, just a great imagination

Suzie..so many of you have picked up on that last verse, and the last line..truth be told that verse took me nearly four hours of just sitting there to complete!!! looks like it came right in the end

Emily..thank you, that is a great comment

Teressa - i like the word excellent..thank you

beachanny - wow yeats and me, side by side, that is praise indeed..thank you

Pete Marshall said...

Hi anthony - this poem gave me such great joy in doing the things i love, researching history (which i use a lot in poetry) and writing a poetic tale..thanks for the comment.cheers pete

Claudia said...

I'm so glad that one remained to tell this tale...my grandpa used to tell us frightening stories of scarecrows - and then we had to walk - no - RUN!!! in the dark back home....i would've beaten Usain Bolt....

JamieDedes said...

Wow! What a wonderfully well-crafted durge. Somehow made me think of Poe. I'm going to have to do some research later today after the day's responsibilities are handled. Going to have to re-read it ... and that's a good thing.

Thanks for very fine work, Pete.

Pete Marshall said...

Hi Claudia...and it was I who remained!!! hahahah..dont want to scare you really..cheers Pete

James..thanks for the comments..loved finding the language to pull this together..have fun my friend

Suz said...

Oh I like everything about this poem
mostly its strength
beautifully written
the hard work showed

The Bug said...

Loved this! I don't know why, but my favorite line is: As clans would bow and mourn their still. War really is hell!

Gwei Mui said...

Such an ancient feel when nature and man respected one another.

Linda said...

What a magnificent poem. It just carried me to another time and place. Wonderful!

Eric Alder said...

Never thought of a scarecrow being a witness, but why should rocks or trees get all the glory?

Very grey and glorious!

Wild Rose said...

Pete amazing choice of poem and very interesting. You had the last word i bet :)

mairmusic said...

The cold winds of Scotland blow right through this, laddie! Nicely written!
http://mairmusic.wordpress.com/

TALON said...

This was so artfully crafted, Pete. The flow, the language...it was brilliant.

Pete Marshall said...

suz..thanks, that last stanza was harder then you could realise..interruptions and so forth but got their in the end

the bug..whatever the age..war was never and is never the answer

gwei..you are so true..a gift we seem to forget

Linda...then a job was done well..thanks for your comment

eric..makes a change doesnt it..thanks for your comments

wild rose...and as they all lay still i crawled from the remains of that god forgiven place, to tell the tale of the Lykewake of Morag..LOL cheers Pete

mairmusic..thanks i appreciate that...cheers Pete

Pete Marshall said...

Hi Talon...thanks.. i have said this before but i really had fun with this one..especially with the language and finding words to suit..cheers pete

Christine said...

This reminds me of the Battle of Glencoe. A gory but fantastic piece. Your poetry is second to none.

Christine

Pete Marshall said...

Hi Chris..hope all is well with you? Thanks for commenting..glad you enjoyed this piece..cheers Pete

Steven Marty Grant said...

Celtic and Gaelic mythology make for excellent poetry! Wonderful post

william said...

brilliant pete, eerie, sent shivers down me spine mate :)

she said...

Dark, primal truth...just my style. Thanks for a good read, Pete.

joanny said...

Loved this poem, but then again I am part Irish -still use my maiden last name in Gaelic- -- Interesting well crafted tale. I love the fact that I have to do some research on this topic. I did one on "Anam Cara" a while back, it took some doing but well worth it.

cheers, Joanny
great one stop
http://thedowsersdaughter.blogspot.com/

divisoria said...

hey pete, like Patti, I had to do some additional reading to fully understand this. No worries, I enjoy discovering new things. And what a great discovery this one is.

very nicely done. we love them dark stories.

Twilark said...

Lykewake Morag plunges us into dark almost forgotten times. I love the atmosphere. It reminds me of Lykewake Dirge,we ended up talking about the strange and fascinating customs of those days. Val

Amanda said...

Dark and had a chill down my spine..loved the last stanza Pete...very well written!!

Pete Marshall said...

steven..thanks for that comment..yep a good mix

william..glad you liked it,,knowing the scot in you..

she..not at all..glad it was liked

joanny...the research makes it more interesting..the poem worked because of the language..cheers pete

divisoria...glad you did..loved doing it myself too..thanks for your comments

twilark..googled that, didnt know about it..was on good old wikipedia..great read

amanda..glad you appreciated the last stanza coz that was a toughie..cheers Pete

Monkey Man said...

My Gregory roots plunged deeply in love with this tale. I am loving these one shots.

betweenhearts75 said...

Amazing Pete, you tell an incredibly written dark tale. Oh yes, even a romantic poet can love...lol.

Fascinating and the flow done so well! :) ~ April

Jenna said...

Wonderfully dark imagery. Enjoyed it all but really savored the last stanza.

CM said...

"flick its claws" ...ooh, so harsh, so desciptive. What an intriguing read and like everyone else has said, loved the last stanza!

Ladyulia said...

I think
I just found a lovely blog
:D
like it
visit mine :D

Heartspell said...

This is so deep like the wounds...such a great historic epic feel to this piece and loved how you incorporated the native tongue of wherever this takes place in your imagination. :) Heartspell

Pete Marshall said...

monkey man..thanks for your comments..glad you liked..cheers Pete

betweenthehearts..and as a dark poet your romantic piece has somewhat captured me!!!

Jena..so glad the last stanza worked for you..was the toughest one..so job well done i think

cm..thanks for your great comments..cheers Pete

ladyulia..glad you liked and thanks for your comments

Thanks Heartspell, tried to hit the highlands and think i captured it but i am sure there will be a few scots wanting to pick an english man up on this piece..

sgneist said...

I feel like I'm back on the windy slopes of Glencoe watching the foggy ghosts drifting past... dark but heroic :) even though some of the words meanings escape me, the mood grabs.

Carolina Linthead said...

VERY nice, Pete! I love "going retro" with form, and this one reaches way back. But what really flicked its claws at me was the figure of the Scarecrow. The poem is powerful in its indictment: all this carnage to what end? What purpose is served, other than gorging the Scarecrow? Great stuff! Thanks for stopping by my blog, btw. See you around!

Nimue said...

i truly envy and adore your poetry style !! every single post i read, makes me love your page all the more :)

morganna said...

Creepy. Good writing. Is there more to this?

Peach Pit said...

I really dig your work - this poem has such a "creepy-like" (in a good way) feel to it that it makes me think of some of my fav horror films! Thanks for sharing and for checking out my blog! I hope to visit you again and I hope you continue to visit me.

Thanks!

Bill Cook said...

Rich use of language. Generates atmosphere and story. Makes me want to know where th estory goes from here. - Bill

Pete Marshall said...

sgneist...thanks for that..great to see you felt the atmosphere..cheers Pete

carolina..thanks for you comments..glad you enjoyed

nimue...wow..can i add to that..WOW

morganna..thanks for stopping by..i will have to see about that one

peachpit..was my pleausre and thanks too for visiting

bill cook..morganna said it too..maybe worth a look at.

thanks to all Pete

luisydomonique said...

usually I don't like this type of poetry cuz it can't keep my interest for the first two lines but i think you did a good job cuz i actually read the whole thing =p good stuff pete!

frayedges said...

Hey Pete. i couldn't see where to leave a comment for your post "Disillusioned." Just wanted to say I can relate. I was unemployed/super underemployed for 10 months. Now I work just enough part time hours to meet my needs. On the bright side- it leaves more time for my writing :)

Jingle said...

amazing job...

rhythmofmysoul said...

The last Stanza is a classic..!! Reading your poem was almost like visiting a funeral.. intense enough to make it feel real..!!

tracyhsays.com said...

I had to consult Wikipedia for this read, but it was well worth it :) a very interesting and well written piece.

Cheers

Pete Marshall said...

luisydominuqe..then i must have done a good job..thank you

thanks jingle

rhythmeofmysoul..wonderful comment cheers

traceysays..glad you got hooked and wanted to look deeper..thanks

frayedges said...

I read about halfway through Disillusioned, then I had to leave. I hope you find a job soon.

JamieDedes said...

Hi, Pete!

There's no where to respond on "Chivalry And Savagery" and "Poems That Stand Alone And Stand Proud." I enjoyed them. Good stuff. Worthy of more than one read.

Thanks! Hope you and yours are having a good weekend.

Jamie

imagina1 said...

I love the diction and "otherworldly' feeling i get reading this, a very well-crafted poem, Pete :)

Arts Web Show said...

Wow, another winner here

moondustwriter said...

Wow - so when is the book coming out???
those rocks look like ones from my home town - the Moon

Nice One Shot Pete

moon smiles (finally)

Pete Marshall said...

Hi frayedges...thanks for reading those ones and taking the time to comment.. appreciate that

thanks jamiededes..maybe i should resurrect some of these and give them a page of their own..refloat an old etc...

hi imagina1..thanks for your wonderful comment..cheers pete

artwebshow..cheers for popping by glad you enjoyed this

moondustwriter..what i loved about the picture was the rocks looked like they were watching and just taking the whole thing in..short story..wouldnt know where to start..cheers pete