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Mocking The Raven

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Mocking The Raven

When I was young, I would mock the raven,
Never dreaming her harsh call was a cry
Across the water to the castle of her brother
King Bram, the Raven, ruler of the British Isles.
Never did I dream of the destruction 
That would follow this desperate plea
Sent upon the wings of a blackened crow.

When I was young, I thought childhood
Would last forever; secure in my father's care,
Content in the loving arms of my mother,
Never did I dream of the devastating war
That would follow this messenger of our doom
Carried across the seas to inflict upon our land
A war of vengeful purpose and contempt.

When I was young, peace prevailed in our land;
Our King was just and beloved by his people.
Then came a marriage, an alliance between
Ireland and England.  Queen Branwen;
Discontent, lonely, hungry for power,
Hated by her court for the intrigue
And bloody sanctions imposed upon all
Who did not obey her sanctimonious whim;
Queen Branwen, beautiful daughter of England.

When I was young, I stood beneath
The blasted pine, looking up at the black bird
As she screamed out her litany of wrongs,
Watching as she lifted her wings to soar across the water.
My father, general of Ireland, fell upon the shores
Fighting to repel Bran's vengeful warriors;
My mother, condemned by her beauty
Fell among the vanquished women.

When I was young, I did not fear the raven;
Now I live in the court of the Raven King,
He, who conquered my people for naught as his sister
Queen Branwen, the White Raven, took her life
And walks now, shriven and pale, among the graves
Of the fallen warriors; forever singing her lament
Of sorrow and regret; far too late, far too late.

When I was young, I believed in the goodness of men.
Now I am old; my raven hair is streaked with silver.
The voice of Bran echoes through this palace
As he cries out exhortations to his conquering soldiers;
As he cries for peace and fellowship in his land.
When I was young, I would mock the raven;
Now I am old and have harnessed the power
Of the raven's call.  I cry to my people for vengeance;
I wait for their rescue, as I haunt the halls of the Raven King.

[Loosely based on the legend of Bran, the Raven King of England 
and Branwen, his sister, who was married to the king of Ireland.  
It is said that King Bran speaks still in England through the cries of the raven.]

{by Deb Radke -- written for the contest 'Among the Dead'}

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  1. Date: 2/24/2011 12:10:00 PM
    I had only read a couple of the poems and wanted so badly to enter but...too many things were going on and didn't get to. I knew Constance would have a time selecting her winners. There is a long list of winners here. Deb you should be so proud of your winning poem congratulations. Love, Carol

  1. Date: 2/19/2011 6:04:00 PM
    As far as I'm concerned this is no where near close enought to the top.

  1. Date: 2/19/2011 10:53:00 AM
    Nice story penned here Deb-----enjoyed.Congrats on your win in the contest with this beautiful poem----kashinath

  1. Date: 2/19/2011 7:23:00 AM
    Many congratulations Deb on your fine win in Constance's wonderful contest....:)

  1. Date: 2/18/2011 7:05:00 AM
    Deb, you created quite a compelling story and I see it is based on a popular legend in the United Kingdom. Very interesting approach and very well written. Congratulations on your win! Love, Carolyn

  1. Date: 2/18/2011 5:46:00 AM
    just devastating, deb.. my happy CONGRATS to you..:) huggs, nette

  1. Date: 2/18/2011 12:41:00 AM
    Great story, Deb. Many congrat's on your BIG WIN. Lainie

  1. Date: 2/17/2011 8:38:00 PM
    This is an awesome legend and your work an equal dedication. many congratulations.

  1. Date: 2/17/2011 7:13:00 PM
    From the first time I saw this, I had a strong feeling this would place high in Constance's contest. You did it again, Deb. Congratulations.

  1. Date: 2/17/2011 6:35:00 PM
    Congratulations, Deb on your honored place in the contest. Agape, Moses

  1. Date: 2/17/2011 5:49:00 PM
    Congratulations on the well deserved win in the contest of constance, deb

  1. Date: 2/17/2011 5:06:00 PM
    Congrats Deb on your wonderful win in Among the Dead contest with this exceptional entry luv.. enjoy another grand victory my friend...

  1. Date: 2/6/2011 7:10:00 PM
    Very beautiful story Deb, My best to you in the contest. Agape, Moses

  1. Date: 2/5/2011 2:27:00 AM
    Wow!!!! What an incredible story, Deb. A big winner for sure. Lainie

  1. Date: 2/2/2011 12:55:00 PM
    Terrific piece Deb. It was like reading a book, and a darned good one at that. Good luck in the contest....:)

  1. Date: 1/30/2011 12:28:00 AM
    Fine poetry,Deb.It is full of nice images.Theme is very interesting.Good luck for the contest.

  1. Date: 1/29/2011 10:25:00 AM
    A very gripping write, Deb and I enjoyed the legend that you in wove here, very intriguing :) Nice flow and images in here as well :) I wish you the best in the contest :) --nikko :)

  1. Date: 1/28/2011 2:44:00 PM
    This is a bit longer than your usual material, but well worth the read. You can't pack in anymore descriptiveness than what you have in this submission.

  1. Date: 1/28/2011 10:28:00 AM
    Thanks for supporting my contest.

  1. Date: 1/28/2011 9:32:00 AM
    Stopping by to say hello and let you I enjoyed reading your poetry today Deb. I am in the process of packing up to move in a couple weeks so not much time for one on one. I will be stopping by when I can. Have a wonderful weekend and keep your pen flowing. Love and blessings, Carol