Loch Earn

by Poetry

serenity this lake calmed
by years of gentle lovers’ soothing words
& deceptive oar strokes of hesitant
trances in sound who calmly
& firmly beat down the waves
who threatened the
sleeping villages on its banks

                had I known, then? arriving
the breeze come burning
& guiding mighty storms from seas
I knew come shuddering drugs
& clenched the teeth to bite
the sleeping waters
of some lost water goddess

                had I known, then? settling
the storm-bringer on you
& drown the living loves in
lifeblood to restore the old
& tempest waves’ careless offers
taken now, now again
as sacrosanct oaths violent motions

                before the kick
                                in drowning time

                had I known, then? gone & gone
& gone again that I would blow on others
on mountains cities forests & grave
leviathans in cavernous depths
while you stay, tumultuous
& bubbling roar
– the carnage on your skin

                had I known, then? ending
by the breeze come burning wet bodies
& distant showers cleaning
the other’s scent off our breath
& to wash the blood from our lips
I would never
have begun to blow at all

I am not a holy man, but I do believe in the holy; I think. So long spitting against it, until all the holy comes rising in the breast or carried on fresh winds that burn away the excess skin and leave you raw; a nerve ending, standing on the shores of some loch or lake, some canal or ocean or even alongside the black motorway rivers that dissect the country around us.

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