aig toiseach-tòiseachaidh / in the beginning

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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.

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bàsachadh / dying

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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.

fosail / fossil

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sit with me inside the night,   

i am holding the blue black 

of loss. its river of tar & fossil flows   

through me. flooding all senses. submerging  

my footsteps i walk through myself.

darkening isolation’s hollow 

tree. the wolf call

despair, minds wilderness entangled forest. 

I miss who i used to be. sifting 

through the ashes

i will remember, if i find substance

in the ground, buried deep as fossil fuel. i seek

connection, an end to suffering.

i am looking for my way out,

through the pin prick light ahead

of stars already dead. I reach outwith.

let them live within me. i long to find

the measure of my release

merging into the night forever. one

with the stillness of the 

blood moon. darkness reflecting cold steel,

on the river that all roots lead or bend to twist to.

our journey home.

©Copyright Karen Bain 2017.All Rights Reserved.

a ‘caithris / the wake

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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

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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.

mar chùimhneachan / in memoriam

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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.

toirt air falbh / subtraction

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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.