POETRY READING: The Legend of Morven Mere, by Keith Johnson

Performed by Hannah Ehman


It was thus in the time of siege and famine:

A poor farmer sold his little daughter

To the asrais and nixies of the mere

So that the harvest might not fail again.

Then the farm prospered and all were fed

So no more was thought of the bargain

Though the reeds at the water’s edge

Sang of the prize that was expected.

And Meggan, growing fair but also strong

Took to ploughing with her horse,

Coming on her sixteenth birthday

To till the rich silty fields by the lake.

It was springtime and fine weather

And she and her horse Meadowmane

Worked quietly from shore to headland

As the gulls followed the turned turf.

On a start, a milk-white charger appeared

Its golden mane and tail flashing in the sun

Its dappled flanks afire with rainbow flecks

Snorting and prancing in courtship and display.

‘I know you Brookenhorse’, said the girl

‘The mount of Jenny Greenteeth Grindlelow

Sent from the dark depths of the mere

To claim me as a prize for the tarn-hag’.

Then the enchanted stallion came up

And nuzzled Meadowmane on the cheek

Nipping the old cart horse on the neck

At which the Brookenhorse shape-shifted

And took up the plough collar and traces

Heaving the ploughshare and coulter

With such force that the task was soon done

And the meadow seared with perfect furrows.

At which the Brookenhorse bolted for the lake

Taking with it both the plough and its mistress –

And she trapped by the reins that she had wound

To the handles was dragged beneath the water.

‘Welcome my beauty’ said Mother Grindelow

‘You my drowned princess are my catch now

Take up your deathly pallor and sleeves of green

And sing with us amid the mere of midnight silver’

‘I have my prizes now – my temptress Morgwen Fey –

And the sharp steels of the foreshare and coulter

With which to forge a sword of endless enmity –

The enchanted plough become the stuff of strife’.

But Meggan shunned the hell-bride and her watermaids

And dreamed of the bright spring meadow flowers

And the warm sun and scent of heaving Meadowmane –

Finding at last the Brookenhorse in its watery stall.

At which it flared its nostrils, reared and stamped,

Abject in its thrall to the monstrous Borrag Queen,

Now become once more an ancient broken steed

Mere knucker bones and hide, bleached by the depths.

But Meggan wept that it had lost its rainbow glimmer

And placed her arms around its neck in comfort

Reaching to her kirtle purse to find a scrap of bread

That she had kept to share with Meadowmane.

At which the Brookenhorse glowed fine and white again

Lustrous and resplendent in its strength and beauty

And she broke down the stall gate and freed the horse

Leaping to its back as it bolted for the sunlit sky

Seizing the sword of enmity now become destiny

That mystical Cut Steel – Cleft Evil wand Excalibur

Until at last they came to safety and the light of day

Where she became her maiden self with Meadowmane.

And her father threw his arms around her with joy

Lamenting only the loss of his much-loved plough

But handling with amazement the magic sword

That shone among the peaceful fields of plenty.

So in time a knight came, seeking justice and love

And found at last the sword beaten from the share

Taking it up reverently from the Lady of the Lake

Bringing her and her treasured milk-white foal to Camelot.

Producer/Director: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Festival Moderators: Matthew Toffolo, Rachel Elder

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editors: Kimberly Villarruel, Ryan Haines, John Johnson

Festival Directors: Rachel Elder, Natasha Levy

Camera Operators: Ryan Haines, Temitope Akinterinwa, Efren Zapata, Zack Arch

Author: poetryfest

Submit your Poetry to the Festival. Three Options: 1) To post. 2) To have performed by an actor 3) To be made into a film.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: