Sunday, July 09, 2006

From the Minor Annals



A minstrel wandered through the crowd, hidden like a hermit thrush. Music cascaded from his flute, like water over stone.

Even in the market place of this foreign town, memory can strike like an arrow.

That year was the last time I heard such liquid silver fall from the branches of golden beech in the high grove.

That year our refuge was beseiged.

That year the old well fouled and the cattle died.

That year our guardian hound was struck down.

That year the Elder fell. Before his time, suddenly, in the south field.

We could have endured.

But that year the horns were cast over the outer ring wall.

We counted and knew the days remaining.

So that year we fled.

Under a cold and bloody moon.

We abandoned our ancient hill, our high fort, to the new powers, the hearth spoilers.

We travelled westerly, far beyond their reach.

That year was the first of the years of exile.

In dreams and in daylight, I yearn still for the winds and waterfalls of that high place.

Exile is bitter bread, but one eats it to survive.

One cannot go back. Though the evil be cleansed, one cannot go back.

Ever.

I long to hear again the hermit thrush sing silver among the trees.

Exile is bitter bread.

27 comments:

M.E Ellis said...

Hearth spoilers.

Lovely line.

:o)

Bernita said...

Just back from voting for you.
Thank you, Michelle.

Flood said...

That year was the last time I heard such liquid silver fall from the branches of golden beech in the high grove.

Beautiful.

Dennie McDonald said...

very good - and I agree w/ flood - love that line!

Bernita said...

I heard a whole flock of hermit thrushes once.
It was magic.
Thank you both.

Gabriele C. said...

Prose turned poetry. Beautiful and poignant.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Gabriele.

kmfrontain said...

It's beautiful. It would be a very good story opener.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Karen.
I don't know.
I'm feeling my way here. This is the third in a kind of chronicle.

Robyn said...

I love the feeling this evokes. I can almost hear music as I read it.

Ric said...

Wonderful, my dear. simply wonderful.

Bernita said...

Thank you,Robyn. That is unexpected.

Ric, my dear, thank you.

S. W. Vaughn said...

Oh man, Blogger ate my comment!

Bernita, I really enjoyed this. It's beautiful and evocative.

Unlike Blogger. :-)

Bernita said...

I'm glad you enjoyed it , Sonya.Thank you.
It's the first creative piece I've managed in awhile.

M.E Ellis said...

Oooh thanks!

:o)

Jeff said...

I especially like this line:
"Music cascaded from his flute, like water over stone."
Very nice, Bernita. :)

Bernita said...

Kind of you, Jeff. Thank you.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Wow, that was really very lovely...and I do mean lady-like lovely.

I imagined I heard a flute player and a mandolin while I was readying that...very cool!

That should be the opening for soemthing very grand...it has that kind of fullness!

Bernita said...

Thank you, Bonnie!
Makes two of you - you and Robyn.
Am surprised and very pleased - didn't think the sound imagage came through.

jason evans said...

That's very beautiful, Bernita. The scene and soul and motivation of these people are introduced wonderfully.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Jason.
"...ghosts return gently at twilight, gently go at dawn/ The sad intangible who grieve and yearn...
The whispered incantation which allows/Free passage to the phantoms of the mind..."

Buffy said...

I love this.

Every line of it.

Bernita said...

Thank you so much, Buffy.
Especially nice, since you have such a wonderful voice.

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