From the pen of Turlough Ó Maoláin ...

The Chronicles of Bulgaria

Lady Danube

27/01/2022

From your deep bed’s lavish side

Transfixed I watch your body glide

Its power and its beauty grow

Your curves and your exquisite flow

Carve your name across great lands

As they have done since time began

How you entrance and twist and dance

East towards an azure Black Sea

Inciting and inviting me

To caress you with my fingertips

Taste your salt upon my lips

To dip my toes but nothing more

Enchantingly you draw and claw

Me blindly in towards your shore

Tempt me to your watery depths

Steal my last and final breath

A love to lead me to my death

 

You mesmerise, I’m mystified

You tantalise, I fantasise

I close my eyes, avert my gaze

Not fooled by your seductive waves

Today I am your chosen one

But I shall turn and soon be gone

Not joining all the countless slaves

You led spellbound into their graves

  

Tranquil, soothing and deep blue

Your waters whisper and subdue

Changing hue without warning

Currents swirling and transforming

Suddenly violent, wild and cruel

Steal from so many ships of fools

Lives dashed into your deadly pools

Handing out in equal measure

Great destruction, extremes of pleasure

A murderess with a heart of stone

No body you can call your own

So from mortals you take flesh and bone

From fishermen, sailors and from traders

Pirates, assassins and invaders

Of the shores that you have kissed

Those perished souls doomed to exist

With wisp, with worm and basilisk

Til spewed from your gut obscenely engorged

Into dark and ancient channels forged

By Sulina, Kilia and St George

Lugged then plunged to the briny’s floor

To lie near Achilles from the Trojan War

By his Isle of Serpents forevermore

 

 Lady Danube's Hut

 

A photograph of a green wooden hut beside a river. But the river is none other than the River Danube (known locally as the Dunav / Дунав) taken on my phone a few days ago from near the town of Svishtov in Bulgaria, approximately 80 kms from where I live. I love watching rivers flow by but the might of the Danube (the second longest in Europe, after the Don) is extraordinary. Its beauty and the folklore and mythology that accompany it compelled me to write this poem.

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