The Staff in the Tree is an epic poem set in a future landscape inhabited by mythological beasts and spirits. Through a series of encounters with these creatures and their master, a young man seeking revenge for the death of his father must learn nobler motives as he seeks to deliver this land from dark and oppressive forces.
While the topic of mythological beasts and spirits is of genuine interest to me, I think it is obvious by now that I have been using it to shill (shamelessly, I might add) my own poem, The Staff in the Tree. The poem is now available on Amazon. This week’s post is a summary of those creatures from this series which appear in my story. It is primarily pictorial (ouch – alliteration) and is accompanied by some written excerpts.
I apologize for the repetitious reference in each caption. To save time, I simply took from my media file some of the images I had included in previous posts. More details about the book can be obtained by clicking here.
In ancient Mesopotamia (Assyria), the Shedu (alternate name Lamassu) was a winged animal (usually a bull or a lion) with the head of a man.
On a visit to London, I saw some of these relief sculptures at the British Museum, and they are impressive.
In later European heraldry, the Shedu is a winged lion. It is sometimes used as a symbol for Christian saints or concepts. One interesting application is that of the winged lion with its paw on an open book. This is a symbol of peace.
Below are some more representations of this mythological beast.
I like the above sculpture by Scott Eaton of a Shedu doing battle with Wyverns. It’s easier to see if you click on the image to enlarge it.
Here is an interesting composition by Ezra Tucker:
The colors and relatively simple lines in the above illustration by Synnabar work for me, too.
As the image at the beginning of this post indicates, I have used the Shedu as a character for my “epic” story poem, The Staff in the Tree.