Once Upon a Time


On Sliabh Mis mountain, Foley’s Glen,

the Widow Scotia lies in wait;

incantations meld with mist

and twist in curl and bloom of cloud,

avowed to wreak revenge

on Celtic kings.                                                                                                              


Four hundred years before Our Lord,

belly-heavy, battle-torn,

the Pharaoh’s daughter drew her sword

for to avenge her husband dear.

Her stumble-steed, in error, fell,

and now she bides in Foley’s Glen.


And how she keens, how she moans,

the Widow Scotia, Pharaoh’s daughter;

all these years of grief and tears,

all this time alone.      


Carving wrath in silt and stone,

she cuts her tongue on jagged banks.

Only Sister Silver sees

the green she spits upon the rocks

for wanderers to skid and crump       

and feed her fierce hunger.                   


With ancient tongue, and hate within,

she conjures sinew, muscle, skin.

She seeks Dé Danann - stand aside!

She’ll jump upon your back astride

and with an awful curdle-cry,

she’ll ride your flesh to bone.   


And how she bellows! How she crows!

The Widow Scotia, Pharaoh’s daughter;

all these years of bitter sorrow

feast upon today.        


To those who deem her cruel and cold,

a spectral terror, heinous crone:

this desolate and broken soul

has lost her lover, children, home.

Cast not your one-eyed pious stone.

She’s trapped in Foley’s Glen,

alone forever.


Napowrimo 2019

◄ Call and Response

Incomplete ►


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Laura Taylor

Tue 16th Apr 2019 15:05

Thank you Jason and Jennifer 😃

jennifer Malden

Sun 14th Apr 2019 17:56

Loved it- didn't know the legend, in spite of having lived in Ireland. Fascinating, and gripping writing. Well done.


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Jason Bayliss

Thu 11th Apr 2019 08:08

Beautifully written, evocative, love it.


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Laura Taylor

Wed 10th Apr 2019 13:11

Thanks Trev and Frank - appreciate your words.

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Frank Prem

Wed 10th Apr 2019 04:57

Very vivid work, Laura. Well done.

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Trevor Alexander

Thu 4th Apr 2019 20:51

I'd not heard of her, Laura. Enjoyed the tale.

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Laura Taylor

Thu 4th Apr 2019 10:49

😀 Great mental image 😀

Thank you Stu. It's actually inspired by a real-life legend in Kerry, and is supposed to be how Scotland got its name. When I wrote it, it totally reminded me of the rocks and glens above Annascaul Lake, that we went to on our first night in Kerry. Scary place. You wouldn't wanna be there when the light fades or the fog rolls in!

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Stu Buck

Wed 3rd Apr 2019 16:33

love this!

happily imagining you riding in to battle on a fine white steed bellowing this across the steaming mass of armoured heads. the rain is pouring down. its quite beautiful.

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Laura Taylor

Wed 3rd Apr 2019 13:55

Day 3 of Napowrimo


Today's prompt: write something that involves a story or action that unfolds over an appreciable length of time.

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