I hear a sound.

It is music, silver and bright like shards of glass scattered in the sun. It is swift like running water; it is ever going somewhere, rushing and flowing and racing; fell like a dragon, or proud like a stallion, or mighty like a raging torrent. It is both bright like glittering swords, and dark as summer thunderheads. It is going somewhere – the future is its destination, and it is calling me to join also.

In my consciousness the music explodes like stars going nova, and the sight is so radiant and beautiful that it makes my heart ache, while tears blot out my vision, in the presence of such beauty.

Oh – I cannot resist it, its voice is too beautiful and so fell; the siren that cries, Come to me.

This is the sound of the future, and who can resist the future? It means leaving the old behind, forsaking it for the new and the unknown.

Perhaps this is what the Call is like – that sweet and achingly beautiful voice that is so fatal, that the People cannot resist. It is radiant, it makes all things new and bright. Beyond the brightness is the unknown, and what does it conceal?

The music encompasses me.

I feel the cavernous reverberation beneath my feet, the lightning shards glittering, and the towering lofty constructs twining into a sold wall, and the soaring chords like explosions of light – higher, higher and faster, and brighter, we go.

I go.

—30 June 2008. The music still rings in my ears, majestic, puissant, irresistible.

Iona

Safe within these shores
I feel no conflict here
I feel my spirit soar
Within this sanctuary

Iona, Iona

There are no ghosts to haunt me
There is no blood upon this land
No power to make me fear
No hour of darkness here

Iona, Iona

All bathed in emerald
Out of the mist arise
I see the stones appear
A cross before my eyes

Iona, Iona, Iona…

— Iona, Iona (1990)

Sleep

The evening hangs beneath the moon
A silver thread on darkened dune
With closing eyes and resting head
I know that sleep is coming soon

Upon my pillow, safe in bed
A thousand pictures fill my head
I cannot sleep, my mind’s a-flight
And yet my limbs seem made of lead

If there are noises in the night
A frightening shadow, flickering light
Then I surrender unto sleep
Where clouds of dream give second sight

What dreams may come, both dark and deep
Of flying wings and soaring leap
As I surrender unto sleep,
As I surrender unto sleep.

—Charles Anthony Silvestri

The ancient school on Luly, he learned, was older than

the name of the rock, older than the language of humans. It rose out of rock like something sculpted by wind, shaped by storm. It was never silent. Sea frothed and boomed constantly around it. Gulls with their piercing voices cried tales passed down from bards who spoke the forgotten language of birds. Seals, lifting their faces out of the waves, told other tales to the wind. Wind answered, sometimes lightly, sometimes roaring out of the northern hinterlands like the sound of all the magic there, if it had one word to speak, and a voice to speak it with. Then the rock would sing in answer, its own voice too deep to be heard, a song that could be felt, running from stone into bone, and from there into the heart, to be transformed into the language of dreams, of poetry. Rook heard the rock sing again the first night he slept there. Later, out of stone, he made his first song.

Song for the Basilisk,
Patricia A. McKillip