by Neile Graham
My blood is half cedar. Half rain. Half the diffuse northwestern light that pierces dense forest right into me. Half the constant lap of waves on shore; half their squall-chased roaring. Half on half on half. Here, too, Hebridean rain lashes rock gray sea and the whole world smells of seawrack torn on the tide. Westron wind blows. I have let go your hand. Turned to a landscape without trees, sure it couldn't be lovely. Couldn't be loved. Scotland was a fairyland, no fiery, no a tale told by the embers I now walk among. Each step. Each breath. Each stone under my shoe. Each and each and each dire piece of what's ugly and beautiful, history, I leave you behind because I love you. I'm here to live my own middle ages, and the small rain rains down so busily. My tales mossed over, their bones in cairns, ivy bringing their towers down stone by stone. A conquered streetscape etched with hunger, warpaths worn smooth into lying peace. Sleep now, love. I leave my life behind to come here. Alive to this land, the sound of its rain, drenched in its voices I read and imagine. Christ, that my love were in my arms. The dross left after the battle passes. It's in my bones. I understand it all now: wind and rain and raiders. I live it. Losing myself. My blood is half raider. Half pain. Half the opaque weapons one human will use against another to hold lives in one hand for gain. Half the constant need for vengeance; half the peat fire's peace. And I in my bed again. Crofts and clearances, pioneers, it's all stolen land. All grey sky full of rain torn awake by shafts of breaking light. I'm lost in fog lost here lost lost lost. I know I know I know.
Back to Feature Table of Contents