The Black Druids

At seven ten this morning
as the night gave way to dawn
a band of three of black druids*
gathered out on my front lawn

I heard them last night singing
in the dead calm, loud and clear;
but did not recognize their song
until they drew more near.

Drawn to my house, I might suppose
to offer me some clue,
and sip with careful wisdom
from the lawn’s supply of dew

Three travelers from the Otherworld
stopped by to check the fire
beneath my recent relit forge
and kindle my desire.

“Recall your smithy lineage,”**
they spoke, and then took wing.
Against this synchronicity
I dared not say a thing.

How odd that they should now appear,
as strangers to these lands,
and offer this encouragement
to my oft idle hands.

And yet, these harbingers whose song
last night I failed to ken
have come to stay among my trees;
I count them as my friends.

05 MAY 2004

* In Welsh, the blackbird is known as “Druid Dhuhb” or the “Black Druid”. While we are fortunate enough to have wrens, crows, bluejays, robins, cardinals, sparrows, starlings, pigeons and an occasional parrot among us here in New Orleans, in the five years I have been here this is the first time I have seen an actual black bird. Perhaps there is some significance to this, as the black bird is one of the totem animals for the Druid — a communicator between this world and the Otherworld, a piercer of the veils.

** There is an area of the old city of Philadelphia that at one time was known as “Cooper’s Road” or “Coopersville”, in part due to the fact that my ancestor, Simon Litzenberg and his five sons set up shop along that stretch after their arrival from Europe in 1741 as blacksmiths and wheelwrights.

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