bàsachadh / dying


my love is a broken door, breaking

you, over & over. until it’s over, and

i don’t want you to go, but i am

glad for you. i push away. there

is ice water filling up the scars holding

me together. submerging emotion.

blunted, pain cuts through obscure ice.

the submerged room i am trapped in,

i can no longer stand, i sink to give.

the pain is endless.

i open the dark box of nothing.

inside thoughts repeat

the voice of self annihilation,

as written on the walls, in the blood

of yesterday & the day after. emptied i sit.

knowing i get back to this, guts me.

i stare at the black void pool. reflection

of all my living fear.

there is no door out of this room. i am

sealed inside my mind. memory ruptures

through sinew. i leak. blooming on,

aching through night born, seeping into

the ice floor shelf, it adds

to the blackness, it will swallow me up.

i am the death mattress whore.

i plunge, submerge.

empty of me, wanting more. your face the last

i see. always, i see you, staring back at me.

mouth open. eyes gaze into

the face of all that is unknown.

you are dead. i am always dying.

our love is decomposing.

©Karen Bain 2017.All Rights Reserved.


gun rabhadh / unannounced  


voices come to me unannounced i  
answer them. they offer unfinished
questions. i have incompletes to give
spoken, in the language of broken. 
mouth sounds, garbled out sync
from a time before, the out spark misfire.
they hover near my face, sometimes they
bark, i am the one begging. they slide into
me as i become. disappear at my bidding 
back into the porous wall, the white noise sleep, 
the shutter, curtain to the overwhelm,
offered up from the land of never born. i sink. 
i am the stone, recumbent 
under ice river, white numb bone. 
the water goddess ice shelf 
washes over me.
i drift to sea. no dreams live underwater.
blanc nothing, buoyant in loss. i am 
absent. existence ebbs & flows 
inside the undertow i was born into, that keeps me
down. i kick, twitch to surface spitting.
lashed incomplete, inside confusion. 
drying out, thawing, i will remember who i was,

©Copyright Karen Bain 2017.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. 

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.

Ath-òrdaich / Reorder










in waves




























©Karen Bain 2016.All Rights Reserved.