The Coming of Columba.

The Coming of Columba.

A Story by Ken Simm.
"

A letter about the loss of one faith and the start of another.

"
 

The witch died below the Sky Rowan and I, the saint, rejoiced. The wind played its stringed solo around the bodies of lichened rocks and hanging petrified trees. Crow, caw laughing her into wilful beyond. Seeing her light soft dark wishes slowly melting back into blackness. The old ways raven rotten now and left  hanging in her heather fashioned gibbet.

Curses left bird flying blind. Wanting the saviour's targets but lacking the lines back to life and so fading. Cloth and fetish hanging from bent naked knee stump. Fox head roaring and weasel tail whispering across these lighter moors under a mackerel scudding sky.

Black priests war beating water filled drums calling the faithful in metal coloured rings to oblivion's prayer. Frightening the mountain spirits into rest. Tattoos stained on forehead tonsures. Straw pigs rolling in muckle joy at these losses. Worship the witch wishes never to have lost.

Singing to the skylark and flocking the finch into these spells of sudden squally mountain rain. For spells they are, gaining on me, giving me my final rest. Count then the quills on the Blackcock. Shoot your goose fletched at the blue mountain hare. Cry the lonely diver, black throated and red hearted. Follow the otter to its silver moon touched isle. Touch the dragon scales on the silver trout, flinging it finally into an arc of sudden light. Shout the clarsach bardic songs at the leaping deer coming across buried hummocks and bog witch bodies. Aged in usqubae leather belted history.

Look for the threefold death and put the objects used beyond any use before offering them to your brief gods and stinking water.

Fight flight flame and windy breeze calling railing light across this mountain's dire summit. Crawl on your ripped knees to worship newness without the effort of old dog sin. Dig the antler pick into aged peat, burn the rest through the roof hanging of swaying weed and floats.

Illuminate your prayer pages. Gild your graven idols. Marry your pretty painted patterned woman. Place your fertility over the doors of your convent. Bury your Kings only on this holy island with its virgin sand and strangely Roman glass coloured sea.

Count your dead facing east so I may rise into the face of his sun. Light on the sea.

© 2013 Ken Simm.


Author's Note

Ken Simm.
St Columba brought Christianity to the island of Iona off the west coast of Scotland and thus to the rest of these isles. A sky Rowan whose roots don't touch the ground is magical. The Black Throated Diver is called a 'Loon' in other parts of the world.. Its haunting cry is heard quite often around lonely places. A Clarsach is a Celtic Harp. Usqubae or Uisge Beatha is Whisky. The photograph is mine and was taken on the Ross of Mull near to Iona.

My Review

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Featured Review

' Fox head roaring and weasel tail whispering across these lighter moors under a mackerel scudding sky. ' So many lines, phrases i could select but for me that paints a rich yet fleeting picture. Your language creates true atmosphere and emotion, tis almost as if you belong there, have walked the place, inhaled and lived from that long time past. I know the place to which you pay homage .. your words are reverent.

Posted 9 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

I've always preferred the witches to the saints.. You paint the most beautiful (and sad) images with your words. Time travelling, you have such a gift for it. I liked the descriptions in the fourth paragraph, especially. And the part about brief gods and stinking water..

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Ken Simm.

7 Years Ago

Between you and me my friend. so do I. Thank you so much. Could I presume to say that if you liked t.. read more
shythatway

7 Years Ago

I will add it to the list :)
This is enchanting and magical, not just the story but the phrasing, the word usage and the technique, as well. Very cool, it has a dark old wolrd feel to it. Nice one Ken.

Posted 7 Years Ago


Ken Simm.

7 Years Ago

Thats what I was aiming for, that old world feel, Jack. Thank you for reading and liking.
the historical references were way over my head, but I googled my way through it as pea-brainedly as I could on my on knees and feet and hands up over the hill for a glimpse of a scene I couldn't quite comprehend..But I don't think you have to be fully aware of the meanings/elements of a ritual or an experience to be in awe of it and/or recognize its brilliance. I guess I could say this can still be enjoyed for the sounds and the sight and the scenery of it. It feels like it would take me years to understand the metaphysics of it. As of now, I can only sense and feel, which I guess is ok

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Ken Simm.

8 Years Ago

Hope I didn't cause any problems. I prefer it when people finf their own pathways in.
Ken Simm.

8 Years Ago

find not finf
For me this is more of poetic than a prose piece, but either way it is beautiful. It is full of images created by the insertion of words into new strange places, and made into rhythms that alter but remain part of a whole, like a theme in a symphony.
This is a piece for reading aloud in the most bravura tones. Next time I have an empty I may try it. I really would love to hear a good actor recite this.
ATB
Alex.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Ken Simm.

8 Years Ago

Who would you suggest?
Kenn, your gifts are inspiring! This piece is gentel woven with urban "if you will". Taking me on a pleasing path with penetrating perceptions.
A pleasure to read. It is hard to speak of any one sentence or stanza, as they all are remarkable.
I do adore the "end"! TY for the author's note! Awesome ~ :-)


Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

"Shout the clarsach bardic songs at the leaping deer coming across buried hummocks and bog witch bodies." this is steeped in the ancient tradition of ancestry's isles. this is gifted work from a deeply studied author. calling to force the winds of druid days and time breathed into stone. thank you for sharing your unique brilliance with this site. well done.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

' Fox head roaring and weasel tail whispering across these lighter moors under a mackerel scudding sky. ' So many lines, phrases i could select but for me that paints a rich yet fleeting picture. Your language creates true atmosphere and emotion, tis almost as if you belong there, have walked the place, inhaled and lived from that long time past. I know the place to which you pay homage .. your words are reverent.

Posted 9 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

It has the feel of myth to it, but there is also a depth of texturing, some added dimensions, that myths (which tend to be a bit one-dimensional) rarely contain. Marries the personal and internal with the group and the universal seamlessly, and it does not lose any of the keen observation of the photographer/artist as it transits from the eye to the page, an ability that I am woefully jealous of. Marvelous writing about marvels.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

What I like about Ken`s writing is the richness and metaphorical complexity he uses, this text has been written with a lot of care and thought, and the way the style is perfectly fitted to the subject, so that it has a magical, mystical character.
A well- written, visual text, I`m not surprised Ken is a photographer too.


Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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EMF
A wonderfully vibrant story told with such clarity and skill. Superbly written with knowledge amd love of the subject matter. Superb work. Thank you for posting it.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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1101 Views
15 Reviews
Shelved in 1 Library
Added on April 20, 2012
Last Updated on May 10, 2013
Tags: Island, christianity, Scotland, light, story, Columba, history, memory, ken. legend, myth, ancient, atmosphere, landscapes, nature, natural., pagan, heathen, church, saint, dogma, celtic, monks, chapel

Author

Ken Simm.
Ken Simm.

Scotland, United Kingdom



About
'I should not talk so much about myself if there were anybody else whom I knew as well. Unfortunately, I am confined to this theme by the narrowness of my experience' Thoreau. For all those who .. more..

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