A Bard’s Prayer

Let me catch the flame

Golden, glittering, glaring

So my fingers may glow as I hold the pen

Let me taste the wine

Sweet, smooth, sumptuous

So my speech may be seasoned when I tell the tale


Let me smooth the cloth

Crumpled, crude, queer-colored,

So beauty and grace may greet each eye

Let me weave with thread

Silver, star-lit, spider-spun

So my words may flow like a moon-kissed stream


Let me glimpse the ghosts

Fast-footed, fair-faced, fleeting

So my blessing may reach them as eyes meet eyes

Let me climb the chain

Twinkling, taught, tenacious

That connects the present with the haunted past


Let my arrow fly

Straight-shot, shimmering, shocking

To cleave each heart for the sake of truth

Let my harp strings sound

Merry, moaning, murmuring

So all may partake in the moods of life


Let me feel the drum

Pulsing, pounding, puncturing

So my voice may serve as a battle-horn

Let my cry be heard

Ringing, roaring, raging

Above the din of battle and through the soul


Let me harvest jewels

Unicorn-horns, sword-hilts, Christ’s hem

And lay them out in story and song

Let it so be done

Soulfully, sacrificially, sanctifyingly

So that life may infuse death-darkened eyes

By Avellina Balestri