archive: in perpetual schottische

in perpetual schottishe

Tune your pipes and honk ’em up lad
and sup on the whiskey we gi’ you
for tartan is flying and summer is glad
and the blood’s in the tune alleluia

O hear the soft swirls of the piobaireachd
my lass: and dream of your love in the valley
he is deep in the loam with a lance as his lot

but you shed not a tear at his passing

And he on the rock again dances schottische
and flings his slung sporran so sweet
so strike up the cèilidh and sing out me lads as he
flings his delicate feet–

She tears her teeth from this rotten fruit and turns to the laundry ready
to pound it on the rock worn smooth by her constant corrosive curses
her hands are coarse and as cracked now as the rock when two were young
and he stood on it teasing her crossed ankles frozen in perpetual schottische
he said and he danced on laughing for her to blush and soften her reluctance

Oh God she had let him go without tasting him once
forced his spoon to stay on the counter as her mother used to say
her sister’s son hops into the creek as trout wriggle away in the sun
he seeks gooey clay for his mother’s mocking artful fingers
she watches him search the clear water with his delicate feet

From the cool clay his mother fashioned the effigies of
a youth lying dead straight arms crossed on his breast
and a banshee prostrate pounding her tears into it all

[I wrote this piece as a contest piece for a WILD Poetry Forum monthly contest. The contest requirement was to use two arbitrarily given lines, which in this case were “he flings his delicate feet” and “From the cool clay his mother fashioned the effigies”. The podcast of the reading is available directly below.]

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About riverwriter

Poet, playwright, duplicate bridge player, website designer, cottager, husband, father, grandfather, former athlete, carpenter, computer helper for my friends, theatre designer, backstage polymath, retired teacher of highschool English, drama, art, a baritone singer in a barbershop quartet, who knows what else? wordcurrents is on Facebook: Doug also has a Facebook page, "Incognitio", related to his novels.
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