Boudicca’s Curse

144. SandmanBoudicca—they call me—
from the Celtic word for—victory.
But my heart is brutally shattered
and my body violently battered.
I am in the valley of laceration.
Soil and blood are my decoration.
My stomach heaves into throat acid—
my limbs lie still—and helplessly placid.
I have been in the dark chasm of violence—
now I’m redeemed in the grove of silence.
My spirit strength has survived
to avenge the Iceni who have died.
I will curse the Romans that I hate
and with my last voice—retaliate.

My husband had given Rome his submission.
His reward was double-crossing revision.
I had argued with him previously
that by our laws we were always free.
I told him he had betrayed our ways
he had me locked away for three days.
The Triads have a clarity—
no collusion with the enemy.
Do not negotiate with an invader.
That has made him a double traitor.
He said he was older and wiser than me.
But Triads stress justice and humanity.
There are three tests of civil liberty—
rights, taxation, and freedom—with equality.
Our laws are better than Roman law
you have bartered for payment—like a whore.
He was a sick man—I had to give in.
I knew that the future would be one of ruin.

Our land is covered in Iceni blood.
Hoping to appease Rome’s angry god?
No—Roman revenge made this slaughter—
and my reprisal—for my daughters.
Left a widow when Prasutagus died—
I refused to give in to Roman pride.
An agreement was made by my man,
to divide the estate—that was the plan.
Half to our girls—half to the Empire—
but the Roman official was a devious liar.
They took all the Icenian territory,
gone were our estates hereditary.
I refused to give in, and stood my ground.
They said—”all women howl like a hound.”
So Rome’s procurator wanted a show;
we will demand our freedom to come and go.

Divide and conquer is their rule.
Control by terror—is their tool.
They whipped me until my back was sore.
They beat me until I could bellow no more.
You can punish my body—but not Celtic pride.
You can break my skin—but not me inside.
The blood from my cuts ran warm on my skin.
The heart that it gushed from—cold within.
I would take it all many times again
and silently bear the continuous pain.
If only my girls had not to endure
the torment of rape by rats from the sewer.
So I was tied like a hog to a stick.
I controlled the urge to heave and be sick.
I would not look at this hellish scene.
My brave daughters tried hard not to scream.
And the worst of all my fears—
they did not block up my ears.
I would gladly give up an arm
to keep my girls from such harm.
But I was bound up by a rope,
forced to stay, without any hope.

Cries of horror stuck in their throat.
While those vermin hung around to gloat.
I swore that every penis that tore into them,
would suffer the shrivelling found in some men.
Once I blinked, and saw mud in her auburn hair.
To my goddess then—I said a quiet prayer.
I could not look any lower
to see the ripped and torn labia.
My prayer was answered when I fainted away
my daughters already silent where they lay.

I have gone back to several years ago
when we were first conquered by Roman foe.
The womanly man who came to teach
the brutal Romans, our native speech.
They dismissed him as—just a Gaul slave.
He stole their bird on a stick—like a knave.
He dressed in our tartans and danced by,
and never looked at us with lustful eye.
But I noticed at drunken feasts he would watch.
He stared at our men—and touched his own crotch.
He looked to where a handsome man fell,
and under his garment—worked his own spell.
He told me of Rome—how grand, and how fine,
and of emperors—all men—to continue the line.
Women were kept in the Roman background—
where a Celtic woman would not want to be found.
Your Celtic male-female equality
would take a Roman man’s virility.
A woman in Rome must know her place,
if the man she is with—is not to lose face.
He laughed when I said— “keep the luxury—
and give me instead—choice and liberty.”
He taught me Roman words—so I could listen.
Had they found out,  he would have been pissed on.
He was a stray cat and belonged to nobody.
I saw him brood and hate his captivity.
He whispered to me and gave a long sigh—
that Rome planned to subdue the Iceni.

Now I am tormentedly back,
awake, and straining my wrists for attack.
A pause, a blank, silence suddenly falls.
I dread to image the debauchery calls.
Crude Roman soldiers laugh and cheer
and pushing sounds are all I can hear.
I squint through my reluctant eye
and see that Celtic slave stumble by.

At the front of the line—the man from Gaul.
They order him—on my girl to fall.
He shouts at them—he will not do this—
and to my girl—he blows a kiss.
She doesn’t see—she has passed out.
She cannot hear the soldiers shout.
A sword from man to man, they pass
and plunge it up the Gaul slave’s arse.
On the muddy red-tinged ground,
mutual blood mixes, without any sound.
The rapists all gradually drift away.
Part of a Roman soldier’s usual day.
Two ruptured torn girls—by order of Nero—
and nearby a dead Gaul, who is our hero.

Dragged back to our camp—thrown to the floor.
The shamans and healers wait by the door.
Your body will mend—but not your sad brain,
only time will soothe and restore that cruel pain.
The cuts and wounds they cover with mead
and I drink from that cauldron—more than I need.
In my stupor I see shamans dance widdershins
and I fall for a whole day into animal skins.
There is no peace for pieces of my mind.
I think of vengeance of the same kind.
I’m a Celtic queen in charge of my tribe.
No longer from Rome—will we take a bribe.
For retribution I must make a plan,
something to affirm the queen that I am.
Later, I will take revenge for my daughters,
when I shall submerge to extremes of slaughter.
Icenian women won’t wither into the ground.
Remember that they are queens who were crowned.

Word had spread of that atrocity—
Celts were already armed with ferocity.
They didn’t have to ask, beg, or make pleas.
The only exception—the tribe of Brigantes.
Cartimandua—yes, queen—was a Roman whore.
She played their game, and kept her own score.
Betrayal was her perverted aim.
No loyal Celt—was she in her reign.
But all the other local tribes
asked how they could best subscribe.
I met at councils with my plan
And they took me as leader—every man.

Camulodunum fell—and nobody spared.
Londinium next—Roman women tortured.
Breasts ripped off and sewn in their mouths
to show raping soldiers Celtic women have vows.
Then Verulamium taken, many thousands now dead.
By our law—no loot—as it goes to one’s head.
But Rome must know—Celtic Britain is free.
We could only go onward with the killing spree.
The next battle was doomed—Rome had reinforced.
Brave Celtic soldiers—no tactics endorsed.
Their army was routed and everyone killed.
No prisoners taken—lakes of blood spilled.
The Iceni would suffer and bear the flak
of Rome’s conquering triumph—taking them back.
The planning had taken a year to examine.
No crops were planted—resulting in famine.

But what of Boudicca—captured or dead?
I escaped—with the final plan in my head.
I crawled to Andraste’s grove in the open
and promised a curse, that couldn’t be broken.
A flint knife from Albina’s chalk cut my wrist.
The shaman’s poison gripped by the other fist
“Chant the curse at the ninth wave—”
I remembered the spell the Dryad gave.
The Dark Speech and all its code—
I swore by the colour of the woad.
The shaman’s poison—to make sure—
that Rome wouldn’t torture me anymore.
With a willow wand I invoked the ninth wave
and saw Rome next to a large open grave.
To Celtic religion nature has a divinity—
by the breath of the universe—to infinity.
By the white trefoil in the plant haven.
By the bird—Brandub—the black Raven.
And lastly by the severed head—
the curse was finished—Boudicca dead.

Yes revenge is sweet—but yours will turn sour
your future will show—this was your best hour.
Your country will be for evermore—
within its own borders—always at war.
As Brennus burned Rome 450 years ago—
Alaric will do the same 350 years from now.
The place that was Rome—a fractured nation—
with a lame acceptance of domination.
Boudicca ‘s curse I gave that day
citing Rome as now—and the future as—they.

Rome, with a Romulus began, and also will end.
They will be occupied by Barbarians, unable to defend.
As Rome had slaves that were bought and sold—
they will be by those same slaves, controlled.
Rome attacked North to wipe out the Gauls.
They will be overrun by Goths, Teutons and Vandals.
Rome defeated the Celts with hopes they would vanish.
They will be conquered by French, Germans and Spanish.
Rome used force and brutality when conquering.
They will have violence that comes from within.
As Roman centurions marched in a military line.
They will be trapped in a vicious circle of crime.
As the Romans demanded supreme authority.
They will favour guile and ambiguity.
As Rome conquered many a territory.
They will be invaded with regularity.
As Rome ordered and forced a loyalty.
They will not achieve a national unity.
Rome was proud and arrogant to the point of tedium.
They will pack up the city and go to Byzantium.
As Rome was united as one nation.
They will adapt to foreign occupation.
The Roman show was forced on everybody.
They will have a façade that will be their reality.
By challenging Rome, many slaves have died.
They will be killed by invaders and occupied.
Rome indulged in perpetual violence.
They will rarely have peace and silence.
Rome had conquered and taken with the legions.
They will lose possession in all their regions.
Roman gods were all borrowed fools.
They will ban philosophy in the four schools.
Rome’s wars covered Europe with rivers of blood.
They will be attacked by famine, plague, and flood.
Rome constructed an Empire as a power play.
They will be run by religion and the Papacy.
Rome believed that one leader gave greater scope.
They will have wars between emperor and pope.
Rome was a despot who ordered respect.
They will have anarchy, struggle and neglect.
Romans said that Saturn fled to Latium.
They will be saturnine—gloomy and sullen.
Rome conquered lands which were overseas.
They will differ with north-south personalities.
Rome would outsiders revile.
They will live in a state of denial.
Rome, when conquering, showed no pity.
They will prefer illusion to reality.
Rome, by behaviour, wasn’t known for candour.
They will likewise invent propaganda.
Rome had confidence and optimism.
They will have fear and pessimism.
Rome forged a huge empire by domination.
They will be for centuries a fragmented nation.
Rome controlled—Rome ruled, were her two versions.
They will have a country not as strong as its persons.
Rome had citizens that were eclectic.
They will be suspicious and skeptic.
Rome bragged and boasted about its aggression.
They will have secret societies to counter oppression.
Romans had—war—stamped on their hearts.
They will find their glory in their Arts.
Rome used Etruscan and Greek—their work to enhance.
They will rediscover these arts in a Renaissance.
Rome used tactics of terror to inculcate.
They will have a Mafia who will infiltrate.
Rome used laws as an administration tool.
They will have no respect for government rule.
Rome had a mission to enslave with a pact.
They will suborn—to make a contract.
Roman law had always ruled the day.
They will treat law—as rules not to obey.
Rome governed by coerced cohesion.
They will be volatile, with no reason.
Rome took a delight in staging parades.
They will hide out in masquerades.
Rome’s excuse for festivals—was their religion.
They will make it a business and a superstition.
Rome imposed many gods on conquered tribes.
They will adapt Christianity to subscribe.
Rome’s structured power and solutions were many.
They will be ruled by papal and kin tyranny.
Rome had a policy of raging warfare.
They will see this strategy as a nightmare.
Roman oration was fired off in a volley.
They will only whisper of melancholy.
Rome had a Senate that thought it ruled very well.
They will be in purgatory—between heaven and hell.
Rome’s regions were united with one law.
They will have city states always at war.
Rome depended in her armies on the mercenary.
They will use Sir John Hawkwood as a condottieri.
Rome had emperors with madness and insanity.
They will pay Hawkwood for their constant instability.
Rome stamped its foot on my Celtic territory.
They will try to remake Rome in the 14th century.
Rome had a designated formula for a dictator.
They will have Cola di Rienzo as a caricature.
Rome dealt severely with occupants who displayed unrest.
They will have in 1527 a total conquest.
Rome had the imperious power, which engendered hate.
They will have constant clashes between church and state.
Rome lauded its idea of meritocracy.
They will trust no one and use hypocrisy.
Arrogant Rome boasted superiority.
They will not believe in a leader’s authority.
Rome’s conquest was a prolonged madness.
They will fake animation to hide a deep sadness.
Rome’s empire was built on solidarity and hate.
They will be loyal to family and not to the state.
Rome had an agenda for perpetual invasion.
They will have no such drive for unification.
Rome often closed ranks against any foe.
They won’t organize until the Risorgimento.
Rome demanded unity from the start.
They won’t pull together—only apart.
Rome controlled the masses by taking a hard line.
They will fail internally with quarrels internecine.
Rome had a government model called a Republic.
They won’t have one again until 1946.
Rome made administration work to domineer.
They will have 61 governments in 60 years.
Rome’s top leaders played to their own tunes.
They will have leaders who are puppets and buffoons.
Rome’s soldiers slaughtered many innocent children.
They shall have a birth rate that doesn’t replace them.
Rome no doubt will eventually fall.
They will try in vain Rome’s power to recall.

You need not fear the evil eye—
but the revenge of the Iceni.
This is the prophecy of a Celtic queen
who raged against the Roman machine