Ululant drone of carnyx, detuned
emerging from the mists in syntactic suspense,
a battlefield of woad thrust into rage and gore,
the Hurdy Gurdy Man singing songs of love.
A vast and wondrous economic network once spanned ancient Europe
from Atlantic shores up to Nordic fjords, across into Africa and Asia,
a half millennium of La Tène consorts,
felled in the barbarous Roman conquest of oppida.
Another two millennia of dark ages whilst
hordes professed the numinous hegemony
of schizophrenics revered through text and eucharist,
aristotelian progeny, ′Ahl al-Kitāb.
Reading early chapters of London by Edward Rutherfurd,
Julius Caesar’s insurgence into Britain
generations later an amalgamation of Roman Britain
then a seventh century mingling of Briton and Saxon
just before Rome resurged, renewing failed conquests
in the guise of tonsure and jeweled robes.
The Last Kingdom, cheering for Danes,
already realizing the inevitable,
yet somewhere the gods are not dead.
Which led me to “Immigrant Song”,
learning of Robert Plant’s penchant for both cider and Sub-Roman Britain.
Then reading Hild by Nicola Griffith,
light of the world, another betwixt
weaving the warp and weft, the wyrd,
of aetheling, peaceweaver, thegn
Anglisc and Briton intertwined again
for the best damn novel in a long, long while.
Rome would make its fourth and final attempt to vanquish Pretanī souls
a thousand years hereupon Caesar, lashing out against
a Cymric queen saved by her derwydd seer,
who dared gaze into Montezuma’s looking glass
summoning Pwykka to rage against the Armada –
Neil Davidge’s sonic equivalence of taunting carnyx through
suspended intervals, carved from fattened square waves
carved not unlike the savor of a fattened calf turning upon a spit
before the tribal feast, celebrating sacrifice.
The utter brilliance of using
Donovan’s “Hurdy Gurdy Man” as theme song
Seer of psychedelic folk pop,
an intense vision while learning meditation in India with The Beatles
recorded by the soon-to-become illustrious
Jimmy Page, John Bonham, John Paul Jones
a quintessential progenitor of “Celtic Rock” became
the evocation of Robert Plant.
I have no doubt that any chance encounter with ancient Gaul or Pretanī
would’ve been utterly, unforgivably psychedelic.
Marriage to a descendant of Cait, close enough,
albeit born two millennia later,
metempsychosis – souls reborn into new bodies,
the first thing my sister-in-law ever said to me, “We’re Celts”
I will recall until my last moment, and then into the next.