Myrddin in the Wilderness

Jane Yolen


So far from home’s soft comforts,
The silk linens, my woman
Who kept the bed warm
Even when my bones grew cold.
(Magic burns like ice through a mage.)

So far from cook’s best meats,
I wander apple groves
Plucking out little green worms,
Flinging them into the air,
Hoping to see them fly.

I settle down on the emerald carpet
With only pigs for company,
Their skin surprisingly like my old nurse’s.
Their grunts not at all conversation.
At least they do not complain.

I miss the fire in the hearth,
But spring has its compensations.
I long for chilled wine in my glass.
But winter ices the river
And the water tastes as sweet.

After long years here,
Seeking inspiration,
Being sometimes mad,
I am surprisingly at home:
Tussocks of grass my pillows,

Sky my painted ceiling,
A winding stair of rocks,
Pharmacy of herbs at my feet
And all the birds sing lullabies

When I sleep, when I wake.



Jane Yolen’s 370th published book is about to come out. She sends out poems to journals on a regular basis and has quite a few in sf/fantasy magazines as well. She is a Grand Master of SFPA (Science Fiction/Fantasy Poets of America), as well as a Grandmaster of SFWA and World Fantasy Assn. She has won the Nebula two times, Mythopoeic Award three times, and been nominated (but never won) for the Hugo several times. Six colleges & universities have given her honorary doctorates for her body of work.