Some words of welcome

November 23, 2014

From Lochaber for Ever



In all thy moods I love thee, In sunshine and in storm; Lochaber of the towering bens, Outlined in rugged form. Here proud Ben Nevis, snowy crowned, Rests throned amidst the clouds; There Lochy's deep and silvery wave, A royal city shrouds; Whose waters witnessed the escape Of coward Campbell's dastard shape, Disgrace eternal reap: Whilst fair glen Nevis' rocks resound, With "Pibroch Donald Dubh" renowned, From Inverlochy's keep. Grey ruined walls, in latter years, That saw the great Montrose, MacDonell's, Cameron's men led forth, To victory 'gainst their foes. Oh! Lochaber, dear Lochaber, The rich red afterglow Of fame that rests upon thy shield, Unbroken records show. "O, Lochabair, mo Lochabair fhein gu bràth." ... In all thy moods I love thee, But I think I love thee best, When the moon is rising slowly Behind Beinn Chlinaig's crest; To list the plaintive owlet calling, When the woods are very still, The gentle plash of waters falling, Ringing, rhyming, down the hill; So rich with flowers the river braes, Whose honeyed perfume scents the ways, Sweet lingering on the air. Wild purple bloom the heather shows, O'er hanging rocks the rowan grows, Where scarce a foot may dare: Enough it is among thy braes, To dream, to breath, to live; With the soul's repose of trustfulness, Whate'er the future give; Across the hazy distance, Thy children look and long, For thy spell is found resistless, And their hearts beat true and strong. "O, Lochabair, mo Lochabair fhein gu bràth." ("O, Lochaber, my own Lochaber for ever.")


Alice MacDonell



Where Everything is Music


We have fallen into the place
where everything is music.

The strumming and the flute notes
rise into the atmosphere,
and if the whole world's harp
should burn up,
there will still be hidden instruments
playing, playing 

This singing art
is sea foam.
The graceful movements
come from a pearl
on the ocean floor.

Poems reach up like spindrift
and the edge of driftwood
along the beach
wanting, wanting

They derive from a slow
and powerful root
that we cannot see.

Stop the words now.
Open the window
in the center of your chest,
and let the spirits fly
in and out!







When I go out, I leave the music on to guard the souls of the dead, music of the ancients that carries the smell of grass, and guards the gardens of Babylon hanging in the depths. When I go out, I leave everything closed in on itself except for the music throbbing in the empty lounges and some oysters, which I picked from the shore on the night of the storm.


Saif al-Rahbi






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