Poems, Scotland, Stones, Travel, Uncategorized, Writing

Foreign Shores Again

Part of being a Scot is to feel conquered, 

made outlaw in your own lands,

abandoned to foreign shores and 

if that itself needed healing then I was proud 

to try for the sake of the others to return to an embodiment.

Before that troubled imprint, a land apart,

and isles of parts, of shagged bark and burred wind.

A people identified by rock and soggy wool

by stone and hearth and breaking braes 

one, and full of heart and spleen and kidney and knees of sinew

family and the sense of where they were together

gathered to eat and sing.

The conquering is not all they endured and our memory

is not lost withal.

I was in warm blooded company, yet

even as those shores were full of bounty, these are my people too, 

the disenfranchised, the ones who pick up and move on and strive. 

I should be honored to count them mine, count myself

worthy of healing those desperate exiles that choose to be

at rest until maybe they awaken their own nakedness without place,

for it’s there: the need to know where they came from 

where their blood fizzes like tonic, like fermentation,

like the drone of bagpipes or the hum from a menhir

the calls to prayer, they are bastions buried but not gone.

Our waking is painful though the sleep had been balm

untenable to the warrior’s soul for long.

-kerry e mckenna

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