The Horns Incident

It happened about 20 years ago. I was the best man at my friend’s wedding, in a smallish town in Illinois. Not a “small” town, but definitely on the small side, about 30 minutes from any town of significant size. In truth, it could have been upstate New York, only instead of orchards and beans, it was corn. It was a great wedding, and I had a lot of fun, but that’s not the point. That’s not what happened with the horns…

I was talking with one of my friend’s friends from the area. He was a very pleasant man, and we were getting on great. At one point, I don’t remember how, I mentioned that this was my first Christian wedding and that I was Jewish. He casually admitted that I was the first Jew that he ever met and asked me “did you have your horns removed at birth?”

As you can imagine, I was shocked. I laughed, thinking that it was a joke. But he was serious about it. He honestly believed that Jews were born with horns and that we had them removed along with circumcision. I knew that this was a thing that people believed hundreds of years ago (there’s a passage in Exodus that many people interpret as Moses having “horns of light” and they use that as proof. Others say it’s a pact with the Devil. people can justify anything if they try hard enough and cherrypick information that supports their belief). But this was 2002!! This was America!!

This was madness.

Where did he hear this? From his family? From his community or church? From his teachers or other students? Or from all of them.

He had never met a Jewish person, never talked to one, never interacted with one. Because he had no exposure, there was nothing to alter his perspective.

I’m willing to bet that there are thousands of people in America that still believe this. I shudder at what else they believe, and not just about Jews.

Invocation (Modified by C.A. Sanders/Drustan of Old Stonebridges)

Here I took the poem Invocation, believed to be the oldest in Ireland, and wrapped a story around it.

Come closer, dear friends, and I will tell you the story of the oldest poem in Ireland, but more importantly, how we first came here.

Long, long, ago, before the High Kings, we were the Children of Mil, and we had no home. We sailed until we found this beautiful green island. But there were already people living here: the Tuatha de Danann, and they were not interested in sharing. We fought them bravely, but they drove us back to our ships with their great magics, for the island knew their names, but not ours. They summoned a wall of storms to keep our boats away.

But we had great magic too, the great bard Amergin. And we Children of Mil asked of him: Say the Words! Sing the Song! Let the Island know our Name!

Amergin stepped to the prow of his boat with his lyre in hand. He played his lyre and chanted:

“I am the wind on the sea;

I am the wave of the sea;

I am the bull of seven battles;

I am the eagle on the rock

I am a flash from the sun;

I am the most beautiful of plants;

He thrust out one hand and shouted our name. The wall of storms fell. We came ashore and there was a great battle, but the Island still did not know our name, and we were driven back behind the wall of storms.

We begged Amergin again: Sing the Song! Let them know our Name!

And Amergin stepped forward with his lyre and chanted:

I am a strong wild boar;

I am a salmon in the water;

I am a lake in the plain;

I am the word of knowledge;

I am the head of the spear in battle;

I am the god that puts fire in the head;

Amergin knew that great power required sacrifice, so as he shouted our name, he drew a blade across his hand and let the blood drip into the sea. The storms fell, and we came ashore again. We fought like warrior-poets, but the Tuatha de Dannan used the power of the Island to drive us back, for the Island still did not know our name.

We were on our ships, and we were starving. We begged Amergin again, lest we all die.

This time, Amergin made a silent vow to the island that he would sacrifice what he held most dear, if the island would remember our name. And he sang:

Who spreads light in the gathering on the hills?

Who can tell the ages of the moon?

Who can tell the place where the sun rests

If not I?

This Amergin strummed his lyre one last time, and gave it to the sea. The storms fell, and we fought the Tuatha de Danann into a peace, for the island now knew our name. We split the Island, with us taking the land above ground, and the Tuatha de Danann taking what’s below, what we call The Other World.

And we remembered the Song of Amergin, and kept the Old Ways. Until the New Ways replaced the Old. Then the Saxons came. They killed our kings. They burned our towns. They left they towers of grey stone across our green land. And we forgot the song.

But we are the Children of Mil, and the land still knows our name.

The Sailor and His Wife (by C.A. Sanders/ Drustan of Old Stonebridges)

I’ve posted earlier versions of this one, but here is the version I currently do at circles:

The Sailor and His Wife

There was a sailor from Waterford, and he had the perfect life. He loved the sea, the salt spray in his face, he loved his wife. He was as carefree as a southern breeze.

His wife died of a fever while he had sailed away. When he returned, she was already deep in the dirt. He never got to say goodbye

The sailor raged at this injustice. It was not her time, he cried, and he swore that he would not rest until The Lord returned her to the living.

With the sea as his companion, he sailed far and away. He took pilgrimage to every shrine, prayed to every saint, begged the Lord for mercy. There was no answer.

The Lord would not hear him, so he took his plea to the gods of his father’s father’s father. He sailed to Ynis Mon, and there drank the henbane tea. He awoke on a crystal ship pulled by shimmering souls, and in the center stood the god of the sea and ferryman to the Otherworld, Mannanan Mac Lir. He begged Mac Lir to bring his wife back, how he was doing his duty to the sea when she was taken. He wept tears as salty as any ocean.

It had been many years since anyone had prayed to Mac Lir, and the sailor was one of his own. “I will grant you this boon on one condition. You must give up what you love most. You must give up the sea. If you ever set upon the sea again, I will reclaim what I have given.”

The sailor did not hesitate, though he knew the ache in his heart, he chose love.

When he returned to Waterford, his wife was waiting for him.

They lived in bliss for many, many years, with many children, but every morning the sailor went down to the shore and watched the rolling of the waves. His wife never questioned why, for she never knew the pact he made with Mac Lir.

After forty years, the sailor died. His wife, now very old, knew how he loved the sea, and instead of burying him deep in the dirt, she set him in a boat and with the help of their children, cast him into the sea. When the boat was no longer in sight, the waves capsized the little boat, and Mac Lir took all that belonged to him.

When the sailor reached the Otherworld, his wife was waiting for him. They lived in bliss for eternity.

The Goose Song (by C.A. Sanders/ Drustan of Old Stonebridges)

This one is silly. I decided that The Moose Song, a very dirty and much-maligned song, needed a completely clean parody. And I tend to write about geese a lot 🙂

The Goose Song (To the tune of Sweet Betsy from Pike)

I was a child, at a pond near a beach

a toy in one hand, in the other a peach

I laughed and I giggled while drinking the juice

when I was attacked by a horrible goose

Chorus

A goose, a goose, a horrible goose

I was attacked by a horrible goose

His honking was loud and his bowels were loose

yes, I was attacked by a horrible goose

He jumped on my back and he honked and he spit

he ate up my peach but he left me the pit

his pecking was faster than the lightning of Zeus

I could not escape that horrible goose

Chorus…

I fell to the ground and I played o-possum

for his pecking was wrecking my butt like a drum

I begged him for quarter “oh give me a truce”

but no honor lives in a horrible goose

Chorus…

I asked the goose oh, why are you so mean

he honked that it’s all that he’s ever been

I told him forget that, be free and footloose

and I saw a light shine in that horrible goose

Chorus…

Now we are pals since that day on the beach

when he bruised up my butt and he ate up my peach

but I’d never change him, he needs no excuse

cause he’ll always be a horrible goose

Chorus…

Sweeney’s Feathers (By C.A. Sanders/ Drustan of Old Stonebridges)

A poem I wrote in the Rhyme Royal poetry style. It is a commentary on the Irish epic Sweeney’s Frenzy

King Sweeney flies from broken branch to tree

His feathers fall behind him soft and gray

Those visions sunrise bright, they fade, they flee

The cursed forgetting, mem’ries drift away

His talons grasp at dreams in dimming day

A punishment from Ronan, holy saint

That Sweeney cries laments beyond restraint

The clan now spies the King plucked bare, they hunt

From nest, to rest, a mercied end they seek

But mem’ries fail, King feathered elegant,

Now scratches earth and shoves grubs in his beak

A treetop’s fall to muck, mighty to meek

The miracle of wrath, Saint cursed his name

The wind steals feathers as he sings his shame

For pinioned wings can’t stall a fall from grace

Can avian become redemption’s son

Will Sweeney find again his rightful place

Or hollow bones will perch him partison

A curs-ed man to stay forever shunned

Sweet vengeance from the Lord has deemed it so

Now Sweeney’s mind grows soft and wits go slow

The king knows, why mem’ries fall like feathers

Remembers wrath, spear pierced Ronan’s most dear

Now soar from Erin’s shores, set free from tethers

Mad Sweeney, how you’re blessed to disappear

You catch the wind, find peace, and persevere

Old life is lost, redeem yourself by wing

From broken branch to tree flies Sweeney, king.

John Barleycorn’s Revenge (By C.A. Sanders/ Drustan of Old Stonebridges)

A poem the I occasionally do at circles

John Barleycorn’s Revenge

There were three men, three kings of cups

and from the West did fly

with fierce and cruel intentions that

John Barleycorn must die

They cut him down and spread him out

They plowed him broke and torn

But fools they were, did not expect

Revenge of Barleycorn

They ground his bones to bake their bread

His blood they drank as ale

But John returned by sunny June

Thus goes our gruesome tale

The first King he, a farmer be

He drank from dusk till morn

He woke up in a porcine sty

Revenge of Barleycorn

The second King, a miller man

loved whisky over all

They found him in an alley

In pieces from a brawl

The third King was a holy monk

And passed out cruciform

He had no prayers, only swears

Against John Barleycorn

And everyman that drank John’s blood

They cheered in starts and fits

Feeling rather cavalier

But left all limp of wit

So bless the sacred barley, dear

And drink, but I must warn

That ill-got juice has consequence

Revenge of Barleycorn

The Selkie’s Son (Song)

I wrote but the lyrics and music to this. It’s been very popular at bardic circles. For some reason, the chords won’t stay in the right place. Generally they switch at the beginning and end of each line

The Selkie’s Son (By C.A. Sanders/ Drustan of Old Stonebridges

Am C

By ten Jack knew what his mother was

F Am

By how she wept on the shore

C F Am Em

The women’s cruel jokes and the sealskin cloak

Am G Am

That his father always wore

She couldn’t say it but Jack understood

what she pleaded for him to take

For a Selkie wife is a prisoner for life

take the cloak for mother’s sake

(chorus)

C Am

Lord curse the father that bound her

C F

Lord curse the swell of the sea

C Em

Lord curse poor Jack, the Selkie’s son

Am G Am

That waits for her patiently

She wrapped herself in the sealskin cloak

On his forehead she left a cool kiss

Light a lantern, my Jack, Someday I’ll swim back

Then she dove through the waves and the mist

The Selkie’s son was driven from home

his father raged, betrayed

Shaking from cold only ten years old

Living the choice that he made

Chorus

For fifty years he waited for her

to return when the lantern light shone

But time kills a plea, memories bleed

and loneliness crushes the bone

At times Jack dreams he sails the waves

and into the ocean he dives

and mother saves him, but her promises

like dreams, were just pretty lies

Chorus

But what would you do if you were her son

and you saw her eyes wet with tears?

And her every day was chained like a slave

and bound to a brute all her years

The Selkie’s son knew the answer

As his eyes dimmed at last lantern’s light

though at times he cried and cursed her lie

he knew at the end he was right

When they cast his body into the sea

A shadow was waiting for him

The seal left a kiss on his forehead

He sank to his fate with a grin

The Frog and the Hen (SCA Version)

This is the version I perform at bardic circles

The Frog and the Hen

by C.A. Sanders (Drustan of Old Stonebridges)

The frog lived in a swampy pond, not far from a chicken coop. He slept all day and spent all night croaking as loud as he could with the other frogs, the crickets and the toads. They made beautiful music, but it was so loud that it kept the chickens awake.

One morning, a hen made a great racket, clucking away and waking up the frog. Annoyed, the frog hopped over to the chicken coop and yelled at the hen for being so inconsiderate.

“How dare you,” the hen clucked. “I just layed an egg and it’s hard work, harder than you’ve ever done. I created life! You’ve created nothing! Next time you complain, bring some proof that you’ve done something in your apathetic, ambivalent, amphibious life.”

The frog hopped away, embarrassed by the hen’s tongue-lashing (especially since his tongue was so much bigger), and with his flipper wiped away a tear. “She’s right, I’ve done nothing in my life except croak all night with my friends. But I’ll prove her wrong. There’s nothing a chicken can do that I can’t do better.”

The first told his plan to a cricket, who chirped so hard that he almost fell over, quite a feat when you have six legs. “You can’t scratch, you can’t peck, you can’t fly. You’ll never be a better chicken than a hen.”

“Bah!” said the frog. “What do you know about being a chicken, you’re only a cricket, and you’re looking very tasty right now.” The frog ignored the cricket’s insults and went to the chicken coop. First he talked to the hens, but they all laughed at him. Then he found the Rooster, all decked out in red and white, with long, sharp spurs in case another rooster showed up. Although the rooster thought the frog an idiot, he was happy to give him advice, if only to show off. The rooster showed the frog how to crow, but the frog could only croak. He showed him how to scratch for worms, but the frog’s feet couldn’t scrape the ground. He showed him how to fly, and though chickens aren’t good flyers, the frog was even worse. The rooster laughed the frog right back into the swamp.

The frog had one last idea: to ask the wisest frog in the swamp. The toad liked to sit during the day in a mossy spot shrouded in leaves, sometimes with a bear and pig with him. “What troubles you?” Said the wise frog.

“I want to do everything a chicken does, but even better,”

The wise one turned his head in that creepy way frogs do. “Why do you want that?”

The frog stumbled over his response, scratching at the beard he didn’t have. He never thought of the why, only the how.

“I know,” the frog finally said. “I want to spite the hen for saying that I’ve never done anything.”

The wise one said, “Spite is never a noble action, but if you must, why don’t you do what you’re already good at. Don’t try to be the best chicken. Be the best frog.”

The frog knew exactly what to do. “I’m the best croaker in the swamp! That’s that’s what I’m going to do, and I know exactly where to do it.”

That night instead of croaking with the crickets, toads, and other frogs, he went to the chicken coop. He shouted to the hen, the rooster, and everyone in the coop, “This is what I’m best at. And you’ll never be as good at it as me!” The frog croaked as loud as he could. He croaked and croaked and croaked and repeated himself the whole night through, and it was the loudest, deepest, most ribbiting, most beautiful croaking that the swamp had ever heard, croaking that the rest of the swamp animals would talk about for years.

The swamp animals found the frog in the morning dead, covered with chicken scratches. Yes, he had croaked. But he had croaked with a smile.

Maribell of the Needles (poem version)

Here is the latest version of Maribell, the one I’ve been performing at bardic circles

Maribell of the Needles

By Drustan of Old Stonebridges

I bring a story of love and love’s greatest enemy: time.

In a land no map can find, and a time no man can tell,

the earth a bowl of green, the sky an azure shell

there lived a tailor’s daughter, her name was Maribell.

Maribell was the loveliest girl in the village, with twinkling eyes, a grin curled in mischief, and a mind sharper than a needle.

She was between a maiden and child, the needles and the pins.

a time where love may take her and, from moment love begins

will never release her, she’ll not be free again

One bright Spring morning, a handsome young warrior named Lutrin entered the tailor’s shop.

His gaze fell on Maribell, and swore none else would do.

And Maribell looked in his eyes, a soulful shade of blue,

she was solely of the needles, her time of the pins was through.

That night, Litrin rapped on Maribell’s window. It would not be the last. The woods became their haven.

The maples and oaks, the leaves and the loam,

it became their bed, it became their home.

Within their shady bowers, they’d never be alone

But Lutrin had a secret. He was a Sidhe, a fair folk from across the Veil, where time is not the straight stitch of a tailor’s hem or seam. It’s the loops, swoops, and twists of embroidery.

And when he confessed to her, she cared not what he told.

He made have been a Sidhe, and endless years old,

but she had made her choice and but for him she would unfold

Through the spring and summer they loved. Till cruel Autumn came. The Wild Hunt had been called, and Lutrin had to go to war. “My love, I shall be gone a year and aday. When I return, I shall make you my bride, and we shall live in the land of my birth forever.”

She looked into his eyes, a soulful shade of blue.

“I shall sew our wedding blanket, a deep and blueish hue.

And I shall love no other, my soul belongs to you

And they were of the needles once more, but come the dawn, Lutrin was gone.

Many years passed, and many men once courted her, she refused them all, knowing Lutrin would return to her. But time across the Veilis not straight like a hem or seem, but the loops, swoops and twists of embroidery

And still she sewed that blanket, a soulful shade of blue.

Never to rest her needle, a task she’d not eschew.

Though teary eyes glistened, like early morning dew

Sixty years passed, and Lutrin did not return. And still she sewed the blanket, though she couldn’t remember why.

Her sight had grown poor, and memories grow dim,

They softly, drift away, dead leaves in Autumn wind.

And she was alone, the blanket bound her without and within

And then one Autumn day, Lutrin returned upon a great, white steed, shining sword girded to his waist. He had not aged a single day. He rode through the village, and knocked on Maribell’s door. When there was no answer, he threw it open, and found…a blanket!

Spreading cross the floor, Tumbling down the stairs.

it was here, it was there, it was nigh everywhere.

But he would not be stopped. He had not a care.

Across the Veil, he had been gone a year and a day,

and now the two could wed, and he’d spirit her away.

No simple wedding blanket could keep the Sidhe at bay

But time across the Veil: Well, you know

He took those stairs two by two, brushing past the soulful blue, until he saw, laying in bed, Maribell, in her twilight days, sewing their wedding blanket. And there he saw his tragic flaw,

she lived stitched in a seam, he lived in loops and swoops.

But though she grew old and her eyes were dim and drooped,

Lutrin loved his Maribell, so by her bed he stooped

“Maribell, I’ve returned! Now we can wed, and I will take you across the Veil, where we shall be young forever.”

Maribell looked in his eyes, a soulful shade of blue,

There was something near familiar, dream fragments she once knew

But she politely said “Child, I do not know you.”

“Not know me? What of our nights, long ago,

Our haven in the maples, oaks, leaves and loam?

Take my hand, and I’ll take you home

Maribell stared in his eyes, a paler shade of blue,

Perhaps there was something there, deferred and overdue

But she said with a single sigh “Child, I don’t know you.”

Maribell went back to sewing the blanket and gasped when Lutrin grabbed it.

“But this is our wedding blanket. You’ve been sewing all these years.

My love, please remember,” he said though streaming tears.

But love is not what they claim in songs of balladeers.

She glared at those crying eyes, more a gray than blue.

The memories returned, but needle sharp they grew

Her heart bled while she waited years, alone her whole life through

“I’ve no wedding, but a blanket, and I’ve sewing to do.

For fifty days and nights, Lutrin raged in the woods outside the village, cursing the loops, swoops, and twists of fate that took his Maribell from him. And when the first snowflakes fell upon the maples, the oaks, the leaves and the loam, broken-hearted Lutrin fell upon his Sword.

And they say at dusk in Autumn, through the maples, oaks and loam.

When lovers share a secret tryst, hidden from their home

One might hear a keen, though none can truly tell.

The voice cries out a pained lament, for his lost Maribell.

And always there’s the answer, pierced the twilight through

No wedding, just a blanket, and I’ve sewing to do.

I bring a story of love and woe, and though all love is unique in its woe, it’s a tale that happens every day, for love’s greatest woe is time.

In a land no map can find, and a time no man can tell,

the land a bowl of green, the sky an azure shell

there lived a tailor’s daughter, her name was Maribell.

Maribell was considered by many to be the loveliest girl in the village, with twinkling eyes, a grin curled in mischief, and a mind sharper than a needle’s prick.

But she was between a maiden and child, the needles and the pins.

a time where love may take her and, from moment love begins

will never release her, she’ll not be free again

One bright Spring morning, a stranger came to the village. A handsome young warrior named Lutrin entered the tailor’s shop.

His gaze fell on Maribell, and swore none else would do.

And Maribell looked in his eyes, a soulful shade of blue,

she was solely of the needles, her time of the pins was through.

That night, Litrin rapped on Maribell’s window. It would not be the last. The woods became their haven, where they were free to love one another..

The maples and oaks, the leaves and the loam,

it became their bed, it became their home.

Within their shady bowers, they’d never be alone

But Lutrin had a secret. He was a Sidhe, a fair one from across the Veil, Time is not the straight stitch of a tailor’s hem or seam. It’s the loops, swoops, and twists of embroidery.

And when he confessed to her, she cared not what he told.

He made have been a Sidhe, and endless years old,

but she had made her choice and but for him she would unfold

Through the spring and summer they loved. Till Autumn, cruel Autumn came and Lutrin had to go away. “My love, I shall be gone a year and aday. When I return, I shall make you my bride, and we shall live in the land of my birth forever.”

She looked into his eyes, a soulful shade of blue.

“I shall sew our wedding blanket, a soulful blueish hue.

And I shall love no other, my soul belongs to you

And they were of the needles once more, but come the dawn, Lutrin was gone.

A year and a day passed without his return. But Maribell still sewed their blanket, knowing that Lutrin would return to her. But time across the Veilis not straight like a hem or seem, but the loops, swoops and twists of embroidery

Many years passed, and many men once courted her, she refused them all, knowing Lutrin would return to her.

And still she sewed that blanket, a soulful shade of blue.

Never to rest her needle, a task she’d not eschew.

Though teary eyes glistened, like early morning dew

Sixty years passed, and Lutrin did not return. And still she sewed that blanket of blue, though she could not remember why.

Her sight had grown poor, and memories grow dim,

They softly, drift away, dead leaves in Autumn wind.

And she was alone, the blanket bound her without and within

And then one Autum day, Lutrin returned upon a great, white steed, shining sword girded to his waist. He had not aged a single day. He rode through the village, and knocked on Maribell’s door. There was no answer, and he could wait no longer. He opened her door, and found…a blanket!

Spreading cross the floor, Tumbling down the stairs.

it was here, it was there, it was nigh everywhere.

But he would not be stopped. He had not a care.

Across the Veil, he had been gone a year and a day,

and now the two could wed, and he’d take her away.

No simple wedding blanket could keep the Sidhe at bay

But time across the Veil: Well, you know

He took those stairs two by two, brushing past the soulful blue, until he saw, laying in bed, Maribell, his Maribell, sewing their wedding blanket. And there upon the bed, he saw his tragic flaw,

she lived stitched in a seam, he lived in loops and swoops.

But though she grew old and her eyes were dim and drooped,

Lutrin loved his Maribell, so by her bed he stooped

“Maribell, I’ve returned! Now we can wed, and I will take you across the Veil, where we shall be young forever.”

Maribell looked in his eyes, a soulful blue,

There was something alomst familiar, dream fragments she once knew

But she politely said “Child, I do not know you.”

“Not know me? What of our nights, long ago,

Our haven in the maples, oaks, leaves and loam?

Take my hand, and I’ll take you home

Maribell stared in his eyes, a paler shade of blue,

Perhaps there was something there, deferred and overdue

But she said with a single sigh “Child, I do not know you.”

Maribell went back to sewing the blanket and gasped when Lutrin grabbed it.

“But this is our wedding blanket. You’ve been sewing all these years.

My love, please remember,” he said though streaming tears.

But love is not what they claim in the songs of balladeers.

She glared at those crying eyes, more a gray than blue.

The memories appeared, but needle sharp they grew

Her heart bled while she waited, alone her whole life through

“I’ve no wedding, but a blanket, and I have sewing to do.

For fifty days and nights, Lutrin raged in the woods outside the village, cursing the loops, swoops, and twists of fate that took his Maribell of the Needles from him. Finally, when the first snowflakes fell upon the maples, the oaks, the leaves and the loam, broken hearted Lutrin fell upon his Sword.

And they say at dusk in Autumn, through the maples and oaks and loam.

When lovers might share a secret tryst, hidden from their home

One might hear a keen, though none can truly tell.

The voice cries out a pained lament, for his lost Maribell.

And always there’s the answer, pierced the twilight through

No wedding, just a blanket, and I have sewing to do.

I bring a story of love and woe, and though all love is unique in its woe, it’s a tale that happens every day.

In a land no map can find, and a time no man can tell,

there lived a tailor’s daughter, her name was Maribell.

She was between a maiden and child, the needles and the pins.

a time where love may take her, she’ll not return again.

One bright Spring morning, a stranger came to the village. A handsome young warrior named Lutrin entered the tailor’s shop.

He took but a look at Maribell, and swore no other would do.

Maribell looked in his eyes, a soulful shade of blue,

she was solely of the needles, her time of the pins was through.

That night, Litrin rapped on Maribell’s window. It would not be the last. The woods became their haven, where they were free to love one another..

The maples and oaks, the leaves and the loam,

it became their bed, it became their home.

Within their shady bowers, they’d never be alone

But Lutrin had a secret. He was a Sidhe, a fair one from across the Veil, the land of the Young, where one will live forever. For with the Veil:

Time is not mean, a tailor’s hem or seam. It’s embroidery’s loops, twists, and swoops.

And when he confessed to her, she cared not what he told.

He made have been a Sidhe, and endless years old,

but she loved him still, for she saw into his soul.

Through the spring and summer they loved. Till Autumn, cruel Autumn came. A Sidhe could not stay in our world long, They were the stuff of dreams, and dreams, like memories, melt like snowflakes.

Their last night Lutrin sadly told her, that he must go. He could not resist the pull of the Veil any longer.“My love, I shall be gone a year and aday. When I return, I shall make you my bride, and we shall live in the land of my birth, we shall live forever.”

She looked into his eyes, a soulful shade of blue.

“I shall sew our wedding blanket, a soulful blueish hue.

And I shall love no other, what other could ever do.

And they were of the needles once more, but come the dawn, Lutrin was gone.

A year and a day passed, And Maribell sewed their blanket, knowing that Lutrin would return to her.

But time across the Veil. It is not mean, like a hem or a seam, but embroidery’s loops twists and swoops.

Many years passed, and many men once courted her, she refused them all, knowing Lutrin would return to her.

And still she sewed that blanket, a soulful shade of blue.

Never to stop till returning, something she’d not eschew.

Though teary eyes glistened, like early morning dew

But time across the Veil: It is not mean, like a hem or a seam, but embroidery’s loops twists and swoops.

Sixty years passed, and Lutrin did not return. And still she sewed that blanket of blue, though she could not remember why.

Her sight had grown poor, and memories grew dim,

Softly, drifted away, like dead leaves in the Autumn wind.

And she was alone, the blanket wrapped and embraced her within

And then one Autum day, Lutrin returned upon a great, white steed, shining sword girded to his waist. He had not aged a single day.

He rode through the village, ignoring the glares and stares

for his true love, his Maribell, waited there.

He opened her door, and found…a blanket!

Spreading cross the floor, Tumbling down the stairs.

it was here, it was there, it was nigh everywhere.

But he would not be stopped. He had not a care.

Across the Veil, he had been gone a year and a day,

and now the two could wed, and he’d take her away.

But time across the Veil: It is not mean, like a hem or a seam, but embroidery’s loops twists and swoops.

He took those stairs two by two, brushing past the soulful blue, until he saw, laying in bed, Maribell, his Maribell, sewing their wedding blanket.

And there upon the bed, he saw his tragic flaw,

she lived stitched in a seam, he lived in loops and swoops.

But though she grew old and her eyes were dim and drooped,

Lutrin loved his Maribell, his Maribell, even more.

“Maribell, I’ve returned! Now we can wed, and I will take you across the Veil, where we shall be young forever.” Lutrin fell upon one knee, hands resting on the bed, resisting the urge to take her in his strong arms.

Maribell looked in his eyes, a soulful blue,

She politely said “Child, I do not know you.”

“Do not know me? What of our nights, long ago,

Our haven in the maples, oaks, leaves and loam?

Maribell stared in his eyes, a paler shade of blue,

She said with a single sigh “Child, I do not know you.”

Maribell went back to sewing the blanket. Lutrin watched the needle go in an out. He thought himself a fool. But a Sidhe in love loves forever. He was the stuff of dreams, and his dream was lying upon the bed. Lutrin grabbed the blanket.

“But this is our wedding blanket. You’ve been sewing all these years.

My love, please remember,” he said though streaming tears.

She glared at those crying eyes, more a gray than blue.

“I have no wedding, only a blanket, and I have sewing to do. Good bye.”

For fifty days and nights, Lutrin raged in the woods outside the village, cursing the loops, swoops, and twists of fate that took his Maribell, his Maribell of the Needles from him. Finally, when the first snowflakes fell upon the maples, the oaks, the leaves and the loam, Lutrin fell upon his Sword.

And they say that at dusk in Autumn, through the maples the oaks and the loam.

When two lovers might share a secret tryst, hidden from home

One might hear a keen, though none can truly tell.

The voice cries out a pained lament, for his lost Maribell.

And always there’s the answer, piercing the twilight through

No wedding, just a blanket, and I have sewing to do.