Two slim trunks entwine like lovers.
Words, ripe as rowan berries
hang poised for the plucking
from the quickening air.
Here, at the Rhymer’s Stone
and poetry is born.
The sun shines its benedictions down,
a fey breeze stirs the trees.
A nameless bird sings,
is replied to.
Stillness after the city,
meeting the Muse for a coffee,
hoarse from the Fringe,
heartsore from love’s disappointments,
she points me the way on the battered road atlas –
three roads to choose from:
cairn or kirk or loch.
Roots snake deep into the peat,
draw up the sap of inspiration
conjured from the alchemy of
sunlight, rain, wind and night.
I lay like Thomas of Ercildoune on Huntlie Bank,
and the Queen of Elfland rides into view –
a woman cyclist in her lycra and helmet,
exchanging a bit of banter with two old characters
about the secrets of the gates
known only to them.
They had been sitting behind the hedge
putting the world to rights.
Had I overheard?
Beneath the Eildons’ three peaks,
split it is said by a demon that
wizard Michael Scot confounded,
still to this day failing to make rope
from the sands of the Tweed,
the magical and the mundane rub shoulders.
The upper and lower get acquainted.
The unfathomable realms of man and woman,
the eternal mystery of their dance
come alive in timeless tableau.
Climb up behind the Queen,
let her guide you to her hidden kingdom.
The jingle of her rein sends you into a trance.
Long hair coiling, blood lips enticing,
the tendrils of her song
piercing your heart.
Follow her siren call
to the end of all that you know.
Be prepared to not be
the same upon your return.
Kevan Manwaring Summer 2014