Tallorcan and Ianthe were
two fine young Picts of old
but neither of them did those things
that make the blood run cold
instead, they skipped and danced and sang
and told tales of – the bold.
They were the Bards, or Skalds or Tells
who never went untold
repeated ’round the fireside, nights
where stirring deeds unfold.
Before the printer ever dreamt
they were – News of the Wold.
Who were those two young Pictish lads
when made, was there a mould?
Such joy if we could see them now
we’d think, well hung and bowled
along so gay and free, we’d hear
– an ancient tale retold.
Now look, you’d find them holding hands
but then, they’d not been told
that God had frowned upon such things
same sex could not be tholed
but good enough for ancient Greeks
what’s wrong if Pict’s been poled?
When mores and morals get confused
mankind seeks rules to hold
but altar boy, upon his knees
knows only priests that scold
and who believes that faith is right
– the Pope, whose cock has crowed?
The ambush was sprung as dawn
emerging full sure, yet warily at first
they crept to the fore,
éclaireurs, robed in grey
imperceptibly lighter in shade
cast off their cloaks and emerged
naked and ready for the fray.
Giddy with delight in a sudden onslaught
they struck down the aisles
silently, with no hooves of thunder
no song of the sword on cuirass
inexorable as the shades were rent
all at once, and insatiable.
Cowed and beaten, thwarted and spent
what slaughter took place here;
was it victory or annihilation?
The vanquished seemed to shimmer
briefly, in that moment of death
before vanishing as suddenly
as it arrived
– the scintillating light of a new age dawn.
Exposed, the brittle bracken underfoot
the fatally pierced canopy
silk threads, incandescent in the air
tethering the sky to the woods
holding great swathes of pines in their place
in the woods of Millbrook Warren.