When we sleep out in the summer night-  
When the sun’s last caresses linger long    
And soft across the fields and hillsides    
As the reluctant lover’s parting;    
Do you feel it, in the warm earth humming
Beneath your bare feet?  

When you sit late by the sighing woods-  
When you stare into the crackling embers,  
Out beneath the vast and faded sky    
As golden sparks rise to meet the stars;  
Do you see it, in the shifting shadows,  
In the twisting flames?

When the horn is passed from hand to hand -  
When the drums beat soft in the sweet night air    
And our song rises as the day's birds rest;  
The dusk is a symphony, alive!
Do you hear it, this living harmony
Beating in all things?  

When dark's brief hours are passed in vigil -
When we stand by ancient stones to hail  
And greet anew the dawn's first gentle rays;
Something stirs and, resplendent, rises-
Spirit-close, within each solid heartbeat.
Do you sense it, in these vital moments?
There is magic here.
Before the birds awake
In the dim, soft dawning,
I will meet you.

In the quiet, thin places
Hidden in plain sight,
I will find you.

As the branches shiver
And mist caresses earth,
I will greet you.

Where the wind stirs the reeds
With the breath of ghosts,
I'll be waiting.

Will you come, love?
Incomplete.  But I'm working on it.
If, every day, I could write
But a handful of words,
Honestly and impulsively;
I would have a map
Etched and scrawled
Across the years in ink-
Black as tarmac, blue as rivers, red as blood.
A map for when I am old,
To trace back the roads I have travelled.
To give me a glimpse
Of the places I cannot revisit,
Of all these moments lost in time.
Steaming waters kiss
Dry and fragile leaves unfurl
Peace and solace blossom
Imperfect answer to a prompt: "Where do you come from?"

Once upon a time I moved back home,
After years Away-
Quite by accident, I assure you.
Now time and again,
Auld Wans will lean in to ask
"Well so, now, are ye settled?
Daughter, are ye happy here?"
The "Yes" seems to be assumed
Before the question has even landed-
Jarring and inevitable,
Like the daily Ryanair from Over the Water.
But it's not so simple-
For *** forbid anything
On this sainted isle should ever be
So sinful as to be straightforward.
'Tis a miserable, wet, cauld place-
Ye'd not be long Gettin' Frostbit-
Unless Will Grigg is still on fire.
But, sure, never worry about the immersion,
Or democracy and equal rights-
Big Arlene has the boilers running anyhow.
Ach, we'll be grand,
For there has been a jar of poitín
At the back of the hall cupboard,
Since before the dinosaurs
Faked their own deaths and
Devolved to become politicians.
Now wheest and eat your sassidge rolls
And take your brown lemonade-
But mind which fleg you wipe your mouth on-
And don't forget to always say your prayers:
“Now *** save us from
The Ra and the Pope-
And Blessèd ****** protect us
From the ghost of King Billy
Hiding under our beds."
And so the Auld Wans still ask
"Daughter, are ye happy now?"
And I always say "Perhaps".
For I've enough sins under my belt
And *** forbid I should err,
Betray my heritage,
And give a straight answer.
Perhaps you must have lived here for this to make any sense.
Pardon me now if,
When I speak,
My words are clumsy-
Bare and unlovely
Stumbling from my tongue.

Pardon me now if,
When I sing,
My tone is wav'ring-
Pallid notes trembling
Whisper from my throat.

Pardon me now if,
When I write,
My lines hesitate;
Letters insensate
Trip over the page.

Pardon me now as
I speak up.
My nerves are shaken-
Thirty years taken
To unearth my voice.
It may be revised when my brain is not mince.
Sleep now, my love,
And ever-dream
Of the moments we've but rarely seen-
Peace and laughter,
Hearthlight and home...
The future lives we might have known.

Hush now, my love-
Your battle's won.
This pain will pass now duty's done,
And when you wake
To kindred's call
You'll feast then, in your Fathers' Halls.

Rest now, my love.
At journey's end
I pray we'll somewhere meet again
I know not how
But if I may,
I swear to follow you someday.

Sleep now, my love,
Within my arms,
Safe now, forever, from all harm.
I'll kiss these tears
From your cold face-
Oh, bitter is this last embrace.
From a prompt. I made myself all teary eyed. Oops.
Next page