Saturday, April 21, 2007


personal photograph.

From the Minor Annals - III.

Hidden like a hermit thrush, a minstrel wandered through the crowd. 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 golden beeches in the high grove.

That year our refuge was beseiged.

That year the old well failed and 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 ringwall.

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 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.


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

Exile is bitter bread.


Sam said...

Lovely - more like a painting than prose.

Jaye Wells said...

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


Bernita said...

Thank you both.

cyn said...

this came to me as very powerful and haunting, bernita. the yearning is there, the sorrow and loss. thank you for sharing!

raine said...

A lovely, wistful quality to this.
Thank you.

Bernita said...

My dears,thank you both..

MissWrite said...

OMG I LOVE the line: Exile is bitter bread, but one eats it to survive.

That is so awesome. I don't know what it is about the tone of these pieces from this set but it's just fantastic.

Bernita said...

Bless you, Tami.
There may be few people who do not know exile - either from personal experience or from the genetic memory of family history.

MissWrite said...

I do not personally have any knowledge of exile, either by experience, or genetic family history--but that line makes you understand it and feel it deep down in your bones as if you yourself were on the outside looking in.

Scott from Oregon said...

I can never seem to keep up...

These pieces are part of a series?

BAsed on familial fact or fiction?

This one has a wonderful transference of emotion in it.

I feel these words. more than most words.

Well done-- though I am still confused.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Tami.

Scott, yes. They are part of a series.I've been reposting them each Saturday.
They are based on small incidents in part, but are mythologized ( is that a word?) - and as such wear fictitious clothing.

I feel these words. more than most words.
Thank you.

Rick said...

Jaye picked out the "money shot" line, but it is all so evocative.

And as usual it makes me wonder about the backstory ...

Jeff said...

I like this line: "Music cascaded from his flute like water over stone."

And the repetition of "Exile is bitter bread" is very effective.
Good work, Bernita.

Bernita said...

Memory may be full of bitter lees, Rick.

Glad you liked it, Jeff.

Thank you, both.

Kay Richardson said...

I like - mysterious. It reminds me of winter.

Donnetta Lee said...

Looks like many of us, including me, focused on the "exile" line. Well said. I have lived in exile. It was bitter. I ate something to survive, but still not sure what it was. Lovely words.


LadyBronco said...

Bernita -

Lovely photo.
Powerful words.


Bernita said...

Thank you very much, Donnetta and Lady B.

Thank you for dropping by, Kay.

Scott said...

Very nice, Bernita

Bernita said...

Thank you, Scott.

Marie said...

Lovely. It's very poetic.

Bernita said...

Marie, thank you.

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