Part 1: Seaward Migration
“Who will come? Far-traveler asked, mid-age
Man, left clans westward bound, two full
Moons, blessing of standing stones. “Seas
Are rising, ice-walls retreated.” Even as girl-
Child, legends I had heard, ice-father moving,
Mountain-tall. Beyond all knowing, what
Forces beckoned his retreat. We knew not,
Except in wake, mountains fell, boulders
Moved, ocean shores awakening, hunting
Grounds, growing fields, ice-locked nomadic
Tribes, exploring open passes, seaward
Migration, stirring within soul-marrow.
Around night fires, we debated, who would
Go, stay, prospects of new life, sea round us
Flowing. Then, families stood, announcing,
“We will go!” As did my war-widow mother,
Bloodline-continuing. Lo! Some would stay,
Elders unable to make month-long journeys,
To remaining tribes sent. Before deep-cleft
Standing stone, each had say, brave hearts,
Rewards to risks outweighed, blood-marks
Made on sacred stone, migration commitment.
Bronze dagger to palm, protection prayers
Uttered, praise to gods, dark and woodlandic.
Alas! Mother took her place, amongst men,
Reached tween legs, bloody cloth removed,
Inserted into rocky cleft, torches held high,
Exalted Maglanda, matriarch of clan, ancestral
Mother, adolescent girl-child, Maglanda-
Dothr I became. Three tribes met, leader’s
Staff held-forth, together leather bound. Lo!
Celtic tribes originated from mother’s womb,
All would go, young and old, sinew-sewers,
Potters, stone-metal artisans. But who would
Lead clans, stones cast for or against, my
Mother chosen, bronze torc adorned, scouts
Sent ahead, day-night, preparations made.
We carried what we had, fur-clothing upon
Our backs, camp dismantled, bundle-bound
On oxen carts, carried by young men: weapons
Tools, pottery, food, growing seeds, children
Leading goats, women tending sheep. Upon
First light, we departed, “No one look back,”
Maglanda aloud stated, torch-fires to thatch-
Roofs, camp ablaze, burning pledge, westward
Paths, rivers forded, open mountain passes.
Of fishing we dreamed, stone huts, round night
Fires, couples moved and moaned as one, child-
Making, promise of bright seashores.
Deep within neolithic Gaul, across Europe, climate took new course, land-bridge
to Albion isles disappeared, nomadic peoples migrated to open seas, searching
for metals, forested lands. Ascent of new ethnic groups emerged, making homes
on coast of modern-day England. For more, see link for “The Celts,” BBC Series,
Episode 1, “In the Beginning”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AU1dKfMIEUQ&spfreload=10
Thanks for reading this historical fiction.