Mother Russia

Pays the price, works the seasons through
Frozen days, he thinks of you
Cold as ice but he burns for you
Mother Russia, can’t you hear him too?

Mother’s son, freedom’s overdue
Lonely man, he thinks of you
He isn’t done, only lives for you
Mother Russia, can’t you hear him too?

Punished for his written thoughts
Starving for his fame
Working blindly, building blocks
Number for a name
His blood flows frozen to the snow

Red blood, white snow
He knows frozen rivers won’t flow
So cold, so true
Mother Russia–he cries for you

– “Mother Russia”, Renaissance

In memory of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008)

The Last Descent

Her wings are ripped from her body. Neck broken, she plummets to certain death in a shower of blood, bone and flame.

Crying, he pursues, but he cannot catch her. Yet there is one last chance. So he bends the forces to his will and puts forth his power.

They say that he is invincible, but, in the face of this monumental and terrible task, he is fated to overstep. His body is knit too tightly to break, when a lesser being would have been torn apart; but this is too great for even immortals to endure. The recoil destroys the gate beyond repair. His palms are shattered; his eyeballs implode.

Her life is saved, but not her body. The atoms reshuffled, but left the remnants of her wings as a memory of her old frame.

His wings are intact, but he is broken beyond the powers of transmutation. No more power comes through this node, for those hands are crippled and the gate nullified. The eyes that could shed no tears now weep ceaseless blood, as a reminder of that sacrifice that only saw their positions reversed.

She may well live forever, but with each day he dies a slow death, before her eyes. And she cannot give comfort, for there is no more warmth in her hands.

Should he perish like this, knowing that she cannot live without him any more than he can without her? Is such a fate worth the sacrifice? Can love do such a thing?

 

(written 11 July 2006)

Ailein Duinn

Gura mise tha fo èislean
Moch sa’ mhadainn is mi ‘g èirigh

Ò hì, shiubhalainn leat…
Hì rì bhò, hò rù bhì
Hì rì bhò, hò rinn ò hò
Ailein Duinn, ò hì shiubhalainn leat

Ma ’s e ‘n cluasag dhut a ghaineamh
Ma ’s e leabaidh dhut an gheamainn

Ò hì, shiubhalainn leat…
Hì rì bhò, hò rù bhì
Hì rì bhò, hò rinn ò hò
Ailein Duinn, ò hì shiubhalainn leat

Ma ’s en t-iasg do choinlean geala
Ma ’s na ròin do luchd-faire

Ò hì, shiubhalainn leat…
Hì rì bhò, hò rù bhì
Hì rì bhò, hò rinn ò hò
Ailein Duinn, ò hì shiubhalainn leat

Dh’òlainn deoch ge boil le càch e
Dè dh’fhuil do choim ’s tu ‘n
Dèidh do bhathadh…

Ò hì, shiubhalainn leat…
Hì rì bhò, hò rù bhì
Hì rì bhò, hò rinn ò hò
Ailein Duinn, ò hì shiubhalainn leat

 

– Capercaillie, Rob Roy

Ubi caritas et amor

Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor.
Exultemus, et in ipso iucundemur.
Temeamus, et amemus Deum vivum.
Et ex corde diligamus nos sincero.

Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
Simul ergo cum in unum congregamur:
Ne nos mente dividamur caveamus.
Cessent iurgia maligna, cessent lites.
Et in medio nostri sit Christus Deus.

Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
Simul quoque cum beatis videamus,
Glorianter vultum tuum, Christe Deus.
Gaudium quod est immensum, atque probum:
Saecula per infinita saeculorum.
Amen.

Alfirin’s Lament

Nae, nae! nín melethron
Gwannant amin aearon.
Ne Bar-in-Edhil ar idh e dorthol,
Ar erin ennorath ú-reviol.

I walk on marble parapets at night
Beneath the silver of the Sheen,
While the firmanent is kindled with starlight:
Blazing diamonds in sable velveteen.

I walk on ramparts encircling high
Above the city in slumber drowned.
Beyond, nocturnal breezes sigh
And bring to ear a murmuring sound:

A restless refrain of halcyon days
When there was no cause to war or weep;
While ‘neath this endless tempo of the waves
Sings forth the chorus of the deep.

Myriad voices in a symphony raised,
An echo of divine ancientry
That sings anon adoration and praise:
A whisper of the timeless Ainulindalë.

Thus the rollers cast themselves a-land,
Foaming white like prancing steeds,
Leaving jewels upon the pearly sand,
Glistening amidst driftwood and water-weeds.

So they linger upon the dwindling tide:
Gems from the deep, an offering.
The star-fire in the heavens wide
Their glory on earth lies mirroring —

But for a moment; then they wane
Like stars before a hastening dawn.
In radiant yet ephemeral flame,
They flicker once and then are gone.

I look upon the littoral strewn
With fading crystals shining therein,
As memories of blissful years I had known
That once waxed bright are now diminishing.

Ah, a veil falls upon my thought,
And all into melancholy gloom recede,
While restless visions in despair fraught
With silent fingers steal my serenity.

Do I hear a clarion cry
Uttered from the immortal sea?
Shall these tears spring from my eye
As this voice calls unto me?

Once more, I hear him speak my name,
Beckoning with sweet embrace;
And whisper of peace beyond ruin and flame,
Of joyous reunion, face to face.

Shall I heed his yearning plea;
Forsake endless sojourn for endless rest?
Shall I sail the immortal sea,
At last, at last, to the blessed West?

Alas! Alas! my beloved has
Departed this Hither Shore.
He now finds rest in Elvenesse
And wanders abroad no more.

 

(written c. 2003)

Come to Me

Come to me
while I’m sleeping,
so their wagging tongues
might not find you, my love!

All the while
they lie down,
our lighter souls fuse,
fly and dive, my love.

So, stamp this night so strong,

that I will remember
and have it ever after!

Come to me
in my dreaming,
so their wagging tongues
might not find you, my love!

‘Round the corner,
back of hands,
they’ll still be talking
whether or not we’d ever,
whether we’d ever, my love.

 

– Vangelis, Voices (1995);
vocals by Caroline Lavelle