Friday, October 16, 2015

The Keener

She comes with her name

rooted in ghost or grief,

shadowed by versions

of myth and tongue.


But in these cold hours

of damp

plying storm


she comes grey-eyed

in a cloak

spun of sea and fog,

lined with the song

of  coastal birds.


She makes footfall

on land once wild ,whispering

pine, thistle  and broom,


once  bagpiped

in willow reeds and water,


once the roaming

of red highland deer.


She comes flame-hearted

with her bodice

laced in lightning;


her anger tied

to their taking of the moor,


the lessening of scrub

and rocks scaled

in moss or lichen.


The ancient cairns

carted away

for lawn and leisure.


She comes weeping

for the loss

of the natural soul,

its miscarried light.


Old fires

no longer burn

on the hill,


flock and herd

graze elsewhere in the sun


and night calls on the moon

to silver bones

of those who passed

( and  were left exposed)


in the taming --

the turn-over

of time and soil.
Note -- The Keener refers to a feminine spirit that weeps
or mourns for the loss of someone or something. Often she is associated with  a banshee,
the traditional weeping lady ( found in diverse cultures) and other characters who appear
as  lamenting apparitions. In this poem, she comes to mourn the eradication of the wild
lands for corporate development ( real estate) in Scotland.

The painting called "Turn Of The Tide" by artist, John Duncan.

No comments: