Carn Kenidjack

Poem: Kenidjack Wrestler

Alexander Maxwell


Once upon a black Cornish night
unsteady, two stout miners
stumbled ready, though the rough
gorse and wild heather, returning
from the rowdy pubs of Morvah together
wondering what their wives may say

A sudden low moan rose before them
the carn of darkness, howled
a high pitched wine, Carn Kenidjack
froze them in their step, they swayed
an eerily glow surrounded, supernatural
beings spirited movement, drew the tinners
pulled into the silhouette circle
below the granite outcrop
by the Devil, they were led
his horns red, compelled they followed
were a sight they met, a peculiar vision
host of otherworldly beings, enveloped

Who jostled and jeered and cheered
deep within the circle two wrestlers
sneered, fighting to the death
they grappled and gripped and groaned
they heaved and sweated and moaned
and all the while the cheers rose
and fell from the ghostly circled spectators
perched upon their big toes
waving arms and casting shadows
glowing green in light

when bang, with a spectacular crash
a forceful throw ended the gigantic clash
with a mortal wound a contestant lay beaten
under his breath, a miner whispered a prayer
for the dying creature, who lay
gasping for air
though the devil was aware, having
heard the Lord’s prayer spoken
rapidly ended the affair
with an almighty thump
of his thunder hoof, the spectacle
vanished into thin dark air

Released from the spell
the miners ran, stumbled and fell
exhaustion grew, slashed and scarred
eventually out of their feet
they slumbered into a troubled sleep
woken by the rays of first light
to find in disbelief
below the very same
– granite Carn Kenidjack they huddled.



Copyright alexander maxwell 2016
Alexander Maxwell