Wild geese fall from clouds snow on their wings. Quietly, love descends on Port of the Ruins.
Druid Sun drowses, cloaked in raven clouds spills horn light. His crimson dregs stain wolf-pelt moss draped over dolerite, thrown ribs, fishbone bracken. Stain feathers drifting from a heron purse. The rushes burn low. Aelia stumbles up Hill of the Rocks. Grasps starr, dagger-sharp, breathes heather. A night bird churrs alarm. Above her a sturdy lamb mounts the outcrop its fleece, dull amber behind the dark velvet mask fierce eyes flicker. Starr: a coarse grass
The cloister library a mahogany womb, one O glass bars the keening winds of Iona. Bent over dark wood an illuminated gospel, you trace the eternal knot: man, head swallowed by a beast mental torture of the lost. Ruby swirls, gold chevrons, note the geometry of God: the Celtic charm to bind evil a swastika. Topsy-turvy, border beard-pullers tumble down violet-green to the underworld. Crazy. You understand, write. The rare jewels you have dredged from chaos: poems, their burning colours fired by pain.
a wolf, smalt eyes burning with a clear flame a rowan torch, this Celtic warrior smoulders into song in Relig Oran's dolman chapel commands the flow of voices over stone invokes the roving spirit of one long gone murmurings, that echo an ocean flooding in so, light strikes a silver cross through the graven lintel as solstice sun skeletons seated in an ancient barrow: tongues of fire could descend, the howl of grief `I want him back' tinder dry bones and this Cave of Death rattle with dancing Relig Oran: Iona's burial ground
Wild and wanton as fire, you fear me for devil's wood, a witchy tree I root in dried blood and, dancing over graves, blow blossom as the cuckold corpse sings. Decked to kill, in lark-shit lace or stoat-eye beads, I stink of pussykin's pee. Caress me... I can heal your bone-creak, banish rheum, will bear sweet ebon berries. June, gowned in gold-green leaves toss you froth for cool cordial -- cream florets for a fragrant champagne. Answer: An elder bush.
I ran to the Hill of Wine to gather elderberries and broom as you pleaded in a dream. Fog scrawling from Port of the Coward blotted woad-dipped sky and blurred my vision. Lost, I found only hemlock and goblin apples, rotting ochre among thorns. A peevish wind fretted, the chill withering my bittersweet bouquet, tossed grey as grief, to the Lapwings' Lochan Now I know you will not visit again.
Celtic goddess, your nicknames betray you: Panic, Frenzy, Scald Crow of Battle. A Phantom Queen, raunchy as Sheela-na-gig, who flaunts all on church corbels. Ravenous as Sul, goddess of dark, underground waters, who devoured humans; whose lust for Lugh, son of light, spawned the hot springs at Bath: on Samhain eve you seduced the Dagda, your large-thighed consort, and laid him in Bed of the Couples Glen.
Dell of the Cock, Sacred Hollow the Trough, down Bed of the Earth Nuts we come at last to grey-green starr, stubble of the Machair. A grass tuffet. I squat munching stilton cobs, glance back below Eagle's Nose: a crimson fleece, a rust harrow. Tufts flutter, black hoodies tug at bone. I taste the warm salt of blood, smell rain. Blue veins pulse, in my hand, a knife... `Why don't you?' As Aelia turns to go across scrub cropped by grubby sheep, I see the hill where Columba met with angels burn again in a furnace of white wheat. Hoodie: the hooded crow
Colum, Demal's hostage wrestles with airy demons tossing dice for him they offer a skull-chalice brimming with nettle broth. It's not easy to be alone near the Well of the North Wind: the sky, heavy-jowled, bags under its eyes, thunders. The corrie mirrors vacancy. Mouse-brown heath and quilled couch grass, rasping with crickets offer no relief. Silence, leaden cumuli part. Glittering ransom coins -- a lark giddies up Axal's thrown shaft the White Sword of Light. Colum: St Columba Axal and Demal: his personal angel and devil.
I have crawled on beaches, hands sticky with blood and tar clambered rocks where the guillemot draggles oil-slicked wings. No more angel than a shag, a junkie tossed to the gulls, I gobbled up my nightmare and retched on the dark. Now, I treasure-trail barefoot squat on dunes soft as breasts where water-flags surge and lambs shudder the ewe. Here, in this thin place I choose to dream. Milk-blue terns light on water like pebbles skim my longing -- for the wild goose whose wings, alone can shelter.
Seals nudge Aelia, who plunges, rises gulping brine, strikes for Iona, crumpled in a kirtle of mist. The sky is the colour of a hawk. Sudden cramp, she doubts falls back plummets the void. Seal bodies rising, buoy her. Beaching Big Mouth Point she slumps on boulders, the slime of egg wrack. A peat smooring. In a mantle of blown smoke I kneel, stroke her gaunt face. Where potato famines once raged, we hold a pigfeast. Swigging mead watch Brant geese rise flames to a metal sky. Wiping salt and oil from my lips I crack an almond. The rough husk thrown pools mango-light and deep laughter.
stepped from the shadows. `Have half' rough oatcake crumbled. Dark eyes & a raven voice laughed, `Arty farty.' Sharp Liverpool she darts an Arran hug. Face pale, mouth resolute turns & strides through glass her future, sure as hell is decay & the muckspattered nest of the hoodie.
(Barnacle Goose) Crack of black alder, wind barks across marsh and a feather sculls the dark lochan. Stamped on mud your web-arabesque melts to grey. I am drunk on salt. No croodle of doves bloated milk, can hold my hunger. Migrant lover son of thunder fly the frozen landes. Come upon me, kneeling in the dust and I will cup my hands: a beggar for love.