Who speaks for the Kenning Stone?
Not Merlin. Merlin speaks for no one since Nimue beguiled him. Though he raised the great stone from Cimmerian caverns to clasp Excalibur, the wizard could not lift himself above lust. The Wiccan women he took as lovers stole his power. In the enchanted forest of Brocéliande, he wanders aimlessly, lamenting his half-fool heart.
If not Merlin, then who speaks for the Kenning Stone?
Not the Ladies of the Slippery Branch – Sybilla, Isola, Viviane, Nimue – the uncanny lovers who seduced Merlin to learn his secrets. They turned the wizard’s arcana upon the Kenning Stone to shed darkness and peer into the moony land of the dead.
Seeking their ancestors’ fabled skill at cropping fate, they gazed all the way back to the very first queens who followed the arrowing geese to this northland.
The Ice Age queens immediately sensed these intruders from millennia in their future. With necromancy old as Olduvai, they ensorcelled Merlin’s lovers and locked them inside immense crags of blue ice cleaved from ebbing glaciers.
The ice towers eventually melted to meres and tarns brimming with tranquil force, and the Ladies of the Slippery Branch became the Ladies of the Lake. They speak for none now under the rolling stars, save the Ice Age Queens.
And the queens? The Ice Age queens, with their necromancy old as Olduvai, drew power out of the frozen land as it woke from its numb eonian sleep. They rode rivers of mist, spoke with the thawing winds, and stored their strength inside those mountains of blue ice and their airless shadows.
The Kenning Stone instructed the queens how to double their energy. Soon after, before they slipped out of the phenomenal world, they confided in the chiefs who came after them the dreaming force of the Kenning Stone.
If not the Ladies of the Lake or the land’s first queens, then who will speak for the Kenning Stone?
Not the great chiefs whose tribes learned from the Stone how to mount megaliths and gear the heavens. Those chiefs lie silent in their barrow graves.
So, if not the chiefs, who speaks for the Kenning Stone?
Not the roving tribes from the east with their worship of the wheel. They slaughtered the chiefs and took the land and the women and learned nothing of the Kenning Stone.
Merlin’s lovers dwell to this day within ancient glacial thaws shimmering with the plangent songs of distant stars. The Ladies float and peer, steady and focused as hummingbirds to each moment, no fathom between us. Their attention will not yield.
In the buoyant twilight and through all the slow night, while angels undress and time fits us to the opposite of time, you will sense them. They watch us even now, in dreams that love the yew.