On a Western Shore

‘… dyuot tri ederyn, a dechreu canu udunt ryw gerd …..’

“… three birds came and began to sing a song to them, and all the songs they had ever heard before were unpleasing compared to that song. They had to look far out over the waves to see them but they were so clearly present to them as if they were with them.”

Birds of Rhiannon singing, where sea meets sky,
A shifting border at the merging of worlds
Their littoral music like the tides on the shore
Ebbing and flowing onto the land, into the air;
Cloudscapes of sound, now drifting, now clear
Like the horse she rides: now here, now there;
The boundaries of time, of place, don’t cohere
On the island of Gwales on the sea, in the air.

The company holds in a vision somewhere,
A blissful communion, a binding of hearts,
Until a hand reaches out to open the door
And the song melts away in a breaking wave
So the land and the sea and the sky
Take their place in the world once more.

“When they looked through the door all the losses they had ever suffered fell upon them ….. as if they were waiting to meet them.”

Quotations from the Second Branch of the Mabinogi. The company returning from Ireland with the head of Bran spend eighty years on the Island of Gwales, though when they return they are no older and no time has passed in the world they left to go to the island.