I’ve written a series of poems as gifts about/for dear friends, and have decided to gradually post them here. The poems are partly inspired by the word-origins and meanings of the names involved. This one was partially inspired by medieval legends about badgers as intelligent mythical creatures that would burrow beneath mountains.
Legend goes that in a darker age
when men killed myths for power,
when dwarves killed men for gold,
the Badger still burrowed between mountain stones
great labyrinths to hide his treasures,
great puzzles to trick his foes.
Cleverer than the felicitous fox–
the Badger never forgave whenever he forgot.
Lo, to remember his accidental unawares,
he’d brand his own flesh, cut a lock of his hair,
and tuck it into rocky nodes:
because the earth houses memories
beneath its skin like bones;
layers of truth and years of mirth
sewn into strips of red clay and black dirt.