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.


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.

mar chùimhneachan / in memoriam


for as long as memory,  

i have stared at the

exit. a glow-worm radiant, switched    

off and on

in mind. it comforts me.

calming my thoughts, scorching  

past the c r i s s  

c r o s s landscape of

the never[mind]. 

only i hold the key 

that opens that final

silent room, inside the box,

inside the house of me.

i lived there,

once, safe. inside that room, 

absent of thought, 

inner silence 

runs as the ice river.

washing over me, subduing, submerging

my tears. i am smothered under 

molten earth. in that land, pain

lies down, & sleeps forever,

and all the fractured

pieces lost along the way

reassemble. i radiate onward

outwith the sun. the mirrored river

of life flows on, softening

the embers of the flames

inside the burn.

the soul will finally – be. 

in memoriam, i can return.

©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.

Oidhche / Night



Light dies untouched..
ebbing away
Darkness seeps
into every thought
each sickly pore
tuneless Memories burn and
Slice at open nerves
Laid seeping bare
by dreams of night
my memories of you
First glimpse unto the last
played back in jarring non sequential time..

Stark images
of warmth and of the sun
scattering in spirals downwards
Torn inside the
Final darkened day
Unseen until I stepped inside
and Stopped..

love broken sits unseeing
shattering the mirror
still life
as loves curtain gently
blows beyond
and outside streetlights
look on
into the flicker
where all life lives..

Love lost
forever locked inside the
blossoming river inside
the empty silent room
the final Stop..
where I walked in
where love in silence sat and died
where futile impotence
gave birth in me..

I stood incapable
Laid bare
In greyed out emotion
echoing screams inside my mind
that wouldn’t Stop
the questions unto myself
my pleading unto you
Anger rising
as silent
shadows swept the room

Were they looking for love too..


©Karen Bain 2016.All Rights Reserved.