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.

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. 

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.

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.