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.



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.

sglèat / slate


In another time & place       

when i was someone else — i          

held you. saw you for the 

last time. final journey.   

gazing out towards   

home, i watched you  

fly — across the tidal ice.

soul carried 

high. sky slate    

grey, as the ice packed 

North Sea,

roared tumbling.

pain echoing thunder.

crack. the tearing 

of my soul & all the half stitched

seams holding us together.

i stood inside days. waiting. lost 

inside the storm.

staring out. standing tied.

shore-bound, screaming

at the raw edged wound of nature. 

hoping to be swallowed up,

as hearts opened & merged 

with the fossils of stones.

one moment out of time & step,

the glance away — the cruelest blow. 

my hell brain mind replaying 

last words back

to me. unsettled, mingling with the

Sea. as day rolled in & out. pain

washing over. tears flooding,

drowning me,mixing with the salt. eroding

my reflection. the me i had become,

your eyes, staring back 

from the deep, in 

hollowed scooped

out silence. 

©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.

gràdh agus beatha / Amor et Vita




W h e r e  has  our love gone
have  time and  p a i n  washed
love  a w a y
has our  f o c u s
s h i f t e d  feelings
left behind along the way..
Has  p a i n  blocked
out the sunlight
the path that leads to
and from  m y  door
has warmth left  y o u r  chambered heart forever
Is love  l y i n g  dying
b a t t e r e d  on  a  b l e e d i n g floor..
Is it  h i d i n g  from
what  l i e s  waiting
all that causes it f e a r
and  p a i n..
Is it hanging on to something
d e a d  n o w..
something  r e m e m b e r e d
something  blamed..
Have  f i s t s and  a n g e r  distorted my vision
of who i  a m  and  how  i  f e e l
has the sunlight turned
to D a r k n e s s
my  e c h o   of  p a i n  all
that is  R e a l …

tha mi airson faighinn a-mach
©Copyright Karen Bain 2017.All Rights Reserved.

Smùirneanach / Particles




Last night as the world was fragmenting

Deconstructing in fractal microcosms

everything out of reach

Alien to me

sound and visions rippling

from my grasp

Echoing on into the midnight dust

breaking up and multiplying

Replicating as it flowed..

Dissolving slowly as we inhaled each particle

and each other..

I had the surest strongest notion

that Nothing was real

In time and space..

that we were all but as a dream

and all around a particled dreamworld

within a constructed dream

in a future nightmare’s frozen vision

of a self replicating speck of dust

Echoing on into infinity..

through all the universes unknown stars..

That we were Nothing

we were as Dust and Dirt


we could finally fly…

©Karen Bain 2016.All Rights Reserved.



Loidhneachan / Lines


Lines drawn, connecting
landscape to a people.
lines connecting people to themselves.
linear visible imprints, hard, distinct
Crafted on aged stone.
granite hewed from a Living past,
from known surroundings.
touched & shaped by cultured hands,
Inclusive of a language & of a people.
a vibrant landscape,
known by time past,
and the blowing singing ga[e]l[e]
unknown to us now,
a forgotten song.
the people of our land
immortal seeds,
Planted firmly in fertile ground.


©Karen Bain 2016.All Rights Reserved