Meeting the Lingering Dead.

Meeting the Lingering Dead.

A Poem by Ken Simm.
"

A Confounded Letter of Luskintyre beach on the Western Isle of Harris in Scotland.

"
 

As the rain begins its patterned prayer all my dead and God ride and run in time along a long western strand. Where tide races myth magic and sky sea merge shot colours not just once but for always.

Magic enfolds its nature and the spell that transfixes me here lies way under and over the visual.

It is much more than you can truthfully see. It is the exposure that happens seldom and only then when the tides and currents are right. Truth is finally caught in curled waves providing the prayer missal and the Madonna colours you play with.

Rocks are internal organ coloured and textured, screaming bright in this flat storm light. The desert and smooth spaces in between are occasionally rippled with eroded musical lines and more rhythmic notes.

White feathers skip their erratic counterpoint to hissing and clockwork time. A transit of an erratic Venus across a grainy and changing sky. The spidered cuneiform marks of sand hopped waders mark this gull shaped missive. Properly punctuated just here and there with droppings of pure gospel.

Ghost grass hair lifts and tumbles across slight red cliffs of undercut where lie the remains of old preserved men and their mutiple stone cutting tools.

Machair hidden sounds croak corncrake and call to each other across wind bent distance.

Wish hush bright slide, form sound mathematics in brief stony stories under your feet. Read them rich and rippled, right and control marked through the soul.

Cries of screeching scorching screaming death through the wilful grey. Turning tossing twisting tumbling in ritual white feathered mating just for the constant joy. Catch the slide and stall into pecks of religious gold light flashing.

Smooth in shining backs humped from coming waves. Wet with blowing steam and expiring alien thoughts. Cut at right angles to the water lines above and so below. Breach in each to new elemental limits. Old blood on the water in shifts down a slide of ancient green stone.

Age the cragged cracked heights above as they fall rightly down into depths that still can be seen long after looking. Stone waterfalls glistening in blue clear patches of occasional sunlight. Standing in stillness some broken shards of these mountains follow ancient circles that remind and still rejoice.

Here you can love, so know this place and linger, meeting all your joyful dead.



© 2013 Ken Simm.



Author's Note

Ken Simm.
One of my favourite places in the world. Photograph is mine. The changes in tense are deliberate.
The Machair is the increasingly rare patch of land between the beach and the peat bogs further inland on some Hebridean islands and the west coast of Scotland. It is home to many rare species of plants, animals and birds.
There is a ruined whaling station just to the north of Luskentyre once run by Lord Leverhulme. There are many prehistoric stone circles at Callenish on Lewis, the next, (joined) island to Harris

My Review

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Featured Review

WOW. There is something that pulls a soul in the place where earth and sea and sky meet. I'm so landlocked I don't experience it - but when I am in that place - it is as though it washes over me exponentially as if thousands of moments jostle for one single flash of understanding. This poem captures that - the transient meeting the permanent - in grains of sand...a feather - the sky and the curve of the earth.

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Ken Simm.

3 Years Ago

Thank you Tammy. I think everyone who experiences Luskintyre feels that pull, that transient moment .. read more



Reviews

awww i will live these beautiful scene through you dear friend. The remoteness of the isles is what give them such wonder. Nature is left more undisturbed which is so hard to find in this world where lands become buildings ,stores, apartments!
The rocks, the water, the birds and their calls. Something so hard to explain unless you have seen it but yet you are able to bring it to life. The rock fomations and their history, whether from cathedrals, old castles, or spiritual rituals have always fascinated me! love this so much ..thank you for sharing

Posted 2 Years Ago


Ken Simm.

2 Years Ago

Thought you may like this. That is why I presumed pon your kindness. This is part of a series called.. read more
sereenaoutloud

2 Years Ago

and you were correct i loved it and will need to go read more!!
A funny,,,,Moonskittle showe.. read more
It slithers and slides along the drawn line of dunes and beach ,each turn expressing more of the lure you find in it...Scottish beaches seem to have a magic call about them...as always your words are a banquet...Laury

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Ken Simm.

3 Years Ago

This was the beach where the old Ealing Comedy Whiskey Galore was filmed Laury. I'm glad you liked i.. read more
Ken, please forgive my delay in reviewing this piece. I broke this one down line by line and really tried to see all you said. I see a place that you go to to sit quiety and breathe. This place is full of history, old ancient stone circles are near. Magical places where spirits can be heard and seen. Erosion is drawing the water line nearer and nearer to the bogs where artifacts and bones are being uncovered. The tides and currents play an integral part in the mystery of it all. Birds that have always been here nest and mate and call. This place can be conjured up whenever you close your eyes, it is held inside you now.

This is a beautiful piece, Ken. I can see the place through your word pictures. Thank you so much for sharing this with me. Angi~

PS: The picture doesn't load full size, so I couldn't see any detail. I wonder if you can try to load it again? I would love to see it.

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Angi

3 Years Ago

Oh, thank you for reloading that. It looks like a haunting place. I recently discovered that you h.. read more
Ken Simm.

3 Years Ago

Sorry, he said scuffing his boots and looking downwards.
Angi

3 Years Ago

Ha! I like that image, too.
WOW. There is something that pulls a soul in the place where earth and sea and sky meet. I'm so landlocked I don't experience it - but when I am in that place - it is as though it washes over me exponentially as if thousands of moments jostle for one single flash of understanding. This poem captures that - the transient meeting the permanent - in grains of sand...a feather - the sky and the curve of the earth.

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Ken Simm.

3 Years Ago

Thank you Tammy. I think everyone who experiences Luskintyre feels that pull, that transient moment .. read more
A verbal mosaic portraying Luskintyre beach; no, a shrine.
Thank you, Ken, for sharing your great love for this amazing place.
As ever, the poetry is sublime.

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Ken Simm.

4 Years Ago

You really are too kind to me Frank. Luskintyre has that effest on me.
I tried ...:)
I did like the part about whales .. ...

So many words end to end..that I do not know..

Jazz

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

J. J.  Nightingale

4 Years Ago

Missal
Hopped waders
Missive

Corncrake
Wish hush bright slide, form s.. read more
Ken Simm.

4 Years Ago

A Corncrake is a type of rare bird that hides in long grass emiting a distinctive croaky cry. Missal.. read more
J. J.  Nightingale

4 Years Ago

:).... J.
For some reason I couldn't pull up your pic so I relied solely on the vivid images of your words. I imagine the author perched behind his camera but taking a moment to jot his thoughts and observations down into his journal. All over the world these marsh land and bogs that were once the niche of some really unique species have disappeared. Where I live, save for a few protected areas, they are all gone. But these areas were once common up and down the California coast. You are lucky to have such a place within your grasp, and here you honor it.

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Ken Simm.

4 Years Ago

That is exactly what I did Diego. Luskentyre is an amazing place out in the Western Isles to the Nor.. read more
Ken Simm.

4 Years Ago

I have been to a few of the places like this in California as well.
I am transported, Ken. You`ve produced the magic you write about. Some of the alliterative phrases I want to steal, except they are where they should be....here, in your majestic piece. Thanks, man. P.

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Ken Simm.

4 Years Ago

Will do Mate. Do you like whiskey?
Pete Langley

4 Years Ago

A wee dram or several.
Ken Simm.

4 Years Ago

Single malt one would presume? Then the west is the place for you. Except Lewis.
Ken, it was like I walked through the portion of a rainbow that is touching that ground. This was vibrant in display and magical as the pot fo gold I might find on my stroll through the colors. Very nice.

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Ken Simm.

4 Years Ago

You are too kind Jack. Many thanks.
I love how the ornithological aspect to your writing contrasts with the haunting and mythic neolithic landscape where you can meet the “joyful dead”, contrasts with ornithological “White feathers skip their erratic counterpoint to hissing and clockwork time” and “The spidered cuneiform marks of sand hopped waders write this gull shaped missive.” It is a stunningly vivid poem. I adore the way you combine texture, colour and sound, as in the wonderful line: “The desert and smooth spaces in between are occasionally rippled with eroded musical lines and more rhythmic notes.” It is breathtakingly vivid, you take the reader there with your words.

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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1046 Views
27 Reviews
Shelved in 5 Libraries
Added on April 3, 2012
Last Updated on October 31, 2013
Tags: Beach, storm, light, nature, wild, life, natural, sea, shore, coast, ken, remote, story, romantic.death, dying, memoir, island

Author

Ken Simm.
Ken Simm.

Scotland, United Kingdom



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