drioftadh / drifting


if I could be anywhere

I’d be bare, foot

sinking in soft selkie sand. cool surround

calm mingling. lying shore still on childhood down.

north sea roaring rolling over — me

gazing at night sky overhead. a star

with no name yet — shooting across. lighting the way,

offering hope. winking. me

assimilated in breeze, contemplating drifting,

driftwood underfoot.

gull soaring through ages, times past horizons.

the rise & fall of fishing boats,

on silver seas.

the vastness

of our — lost connections.



aig toiseach-tòiseachaidh / in the beginning


my father reached out.

spoke to me in the instant

before death,

lost inside the earth cores deepest

sleep. held inside the silent

mountain, i held his

hand. sing out. life is all

reaching, if you’re doing.

falling, failing,

getting up. living in the

joy & inside the saddest river.

life is present, being.

inside life’s pain

we stretch to live, all trying,

lost within the dying & the ends.

mute swans sing out

in their dying moments.

a story told in days, reaching

into tomorrow, carried on

from otherworlds,

upon the backs of birds who travel

in between the song of sound. the song the

living cannot hear unless we dream.

birds speak & understand the minds of man.

we have travelled together,

watching inside darkened

centuries of history in

muted communication,shaping time,as

shifting sound. listen. the dreaming

understand the song of death,

the journey into the screaming universe.

the shifting shore where our first words

were song,

held within the blink of

night hawk eye. swans sing inside

their joy to die, they

call out to the darkness that sings to

them. i heard my father

in his dying breath. his song of loss, speaking forgiveness, a song

of pain. the messenger walks

between the sound of worlds, he

whispers, listen. know in recognition,

the going home, the roaring dawn ahead. the end is the voice of understanding.

©kbain2018.All Rights Reserved.

a ‘caithris / the wake


This morning, awake i hear your tones, not

as a whisper, nor sunken dreamscape.

solid reality struck a chord, as i reach

out to touch known. expectant in explicit

connection. skin to skin. but you & 

all your rhythmic shapes, so full of energy

are absent. 

from my chamber. loss [rings] 

out. i know this place, the darkness recognises 

me. tomorrow screams and

sounds it’s memory in constant vibration. time

pays no heed to emotion 

lost, tears hit the space between.

objects remind, that you [were.] your watch

sleeps silently ticking in another land, beside

my bed. i touch connective warmth into

it’s face, the face that saw you live to ritual.

there is a stain, on my heart i can’t wash out.

drunk on vinegar, it remains

shadowed by the day after. when the world was

new to me. the first fall of snow, chilled boned

gutted rooms. i buried the daylight with your

leaving. boxed love up. that night i 

burnt summer in the backyard. ashes to ash,

& fed the weeds with love. all trace of us gone,

i wait for your return. i know time will

[wake.] recognising me in your face, 

sensing movement, inclined gravitation 

offsetting the [un]balanced, times hands will

[move]me on.

©Copyright Karen Bain 2017.All Rights Reserved. 

òran / song


do you have to know  

a language,to understand

a song.heartache in the loss.   

sadness inside melancholy.

love,within the light,

reverberates. nature’s echo  

ripples over the landscape 

of unspoken trace memory. 

inside each raindrop life’s river

runs.the stag hears below

the heather.below the ground.

below all sound.blood pumps

within everything.inside every

flower that blooms — shoots — 

the newborn song of life.

©Copyright Karen Bain 2017.All Rights Reserved.

èirigh na grèine / sunrise


I walk towards infinity. how good to   

finally be one with all in me. to lie down,   

in cool rained grass. to seek no more. 

to lay my limbs among the roots 

of trees.  s t r e t c h i n g  o u t  the dusk 

filled sky. to bleed forth dreams, 

into the sap of man. let go, to breathe 

to die. death as journey, 

the withered path inside. returning. 

recognition, under towering oak.

connecting roots, that flow beyond coming spring, 

return us to the blood of life. the beating 

damp earths soothe.

we whisper memory into the wind, 

as overhead, crow flies free, 

awakening earths sunrise.

©Copyright Karen Bain 2017.All Rights Reserved.

toirt air falbh / subtraction


the only one who

ever gave me a refund

on how i was feeling

was you. the till

was always clamped. shut. no one had

what i was looking for.

no one recognised

i only had the exit. key in my pocket.

cold hands reaching.

i still see ,the sign.

flickering like a moth in and

out the light. dancing with

the devil. a glow-worm

burrowing in.

my exit – a becoming – glow. it’s everywhere i go.

the man with the blade follows me.

I follow the rich red velvet — the decompose.

he turns the light above the doorway on.when

i least expect it. leaves the door for me,

when im not okay. it’s okay to not be. i lie, in wait.

i glance into the distract. life trails away.

in the dark, droplets of pain flick off, metal glints.

pulling me.

pain lies,it knows no truths. its trickster whispers –

the becoming scream – in league

with the hellbrain. the dark subtractions

of me. suicides unforgiving past projector

lighting up. the wall ahead, distorting.

twisting my thoughts. wiping out all reason.

a static overload tuned to the judgement station.

the post it notes of past mistakes, razor wire stitched

inside my shredded, peeling soul.

if the devil is in the details,

who is it i see lurking

in the shadows of

disorder, waiting for me?

©Copyright Karen Bain 2017.All Rights Reserved.

tàirneach / thunder



I washed you out with bitter words
i washed myself out with it. spat me
out down the drain where I’m sitting
still. watching waiting for the change
to come to feel again to leave undone
to stop the hammer in my head that
keeps reverberating through each night
each day disrupting all, won’t leave me be..
i did not want what you wanted
i did not want
i did not
i did
I saw
i saw the spark
i saw the spark kindle
i saw the spark kindle and catch light
I saw the light within the darkness
the darkness within your eyes
i wanted to dive in to see to feel to
lose myself, get lost in all from me as
far from me as i could get it’s never
far enough. i see and feel the rain too much
i see and feel the voices echoing, resonating
on into the distance and back again. the
arrows as they pierce. i am engulfed buried
under the darkest night of howling moon.

i see the colours of the darkness, the dripping
reds and hurtful words the clawing and the
scratches the cut marks as i lay in bed, it all
comes back to me tenfold within the voice
that will not leave or listen. i see and feel
all I’ve done undone and done again i feel unto
the end of time the crushing inside my mind,
the crushing weight of all the pain, the universe
undone again. as it cries out i hear the siren
in the whisper,the banshee in its loss, the blood
that thunders underground, the spark that shoots
and feeds the roots of all we are connected — dis
connected to,the ties that bind us all together,
the shadows as they walk and creep, the darkness
as it swoops and steeps to reach out to us, to
lend a hand, the fist that closes in. i hear the
silence beneath the waves that beat, that rise and
fall, ebb in and out and crash — as birds swoop
overhead and trust the air that suffocates.

i did not want to be as i am but here i sit and this
is me, a shell engulfed by flames and light within
the screaming darkness of my night.
a shell surrounded and engulfed by sound, that flows
and pumps the beat unto the ground,that feels it
all the ebb the flow the heightening quick of the
undertow, as i am pulled this way and that.
i spat me out down the drain where I’m sitting still..
watching waiting for the change to come,to feel
again to leave undone to stop the hammer in my
head. to leave me be to be as dead within the
hush, the silence that must live — somewhere
inside the chaos within — the melancholy of
the sound…

©Copyright Karen Bain 2017.All Rights Reserved.