Friday, June 15, 2007

The Summer of the Danes


Gotlandic bronze brooch,
embellished with gold, silver and niello.

Summer of the Danes is not my favourite Brother Cadfael story, but the title sticks with me.

Because each summer, we entertain successive waves of invaders who seek our quiet inlet for re-fit.

On certain golden afternoons, when the wind from outremer drives the dark waves shoreward, our eyes strain for the first sight of bright sails, for the dragon prows nosing into harbour.

I line up the drinking horns, roast an ox or two, and load them down with plunder.

They drop their gear, play with the hounds and sleep anywhere. Feasting, heroic tales and laughter continue far into the night.

They talk strategy with the clan lord, consult with the volva and swagger around the village.

They pillage the library.

And when they take ship again, my heart yearns after them like a lonely dolphin.


No post tomorrow.

29 comments:

Erik Ivan James said...

"And when they take ship again, my heart yearns after them like a lonely dolphin."

Wow.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Erik.

Carla said...

What a poetic post! Enjoy your weekend.
(I like that title too, and share your view about the book)

Steve G said...

When I read this, Crichton's, Eaters of the Dead, came to mind. Very good.

kmfrontain said...

Ah, you make poetry seem so easy. Very nice, Bernita.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Carla.
A weekend of blots to be sure!

Thank you, Steve, (I think.)

Mere auguries of ordinary things, Karen. Thank you.

Sonya said...

Oh, how beautiful! And a very accurate (and poetic!) description of children descending on the homefront -- along with how the mother feels when they go, no matter how much she may crab about the mess they've left behind. :-)

Have a wonderful weekend, Bernita!

Bernita said...

Thank you, Sonya.
The house is darker when they go.

writtenwyrdd said...

Your post made me think of all the summer people descending on the little burg where I work.

Ric said...

Enjoy the family. Tis what this quasi-holiday is all about.

Ann said...

I'm sorry, but there is a no pillaging rule at this library *g*. Any (more) pillaging and we will be forced to ask you to leave (and to revoke your plundering priveleges while we're at it).
(Sorry, I couldn't resist).

Bernita said...

I suppose there are similarities, Written. Oh well...

Days of wine and roses, Ric...Thank you.

I have a special "pillage at will" section, Ann!

Sam said...

Lovely prose!!
Sounds like the hoards of tourists that flock to our village in the summertime and wander about before settling down to eat at the restaurant across the street.
:-)
Is the volva sort of like the local pythie?

Sam said...

Oh, if you haven't read 'Eaters of the Dead', I think you'll love it. One of Crichtons most interesting tales.

Kate Thornton said...

Lovely, as usual, Bernita. You have a gift...

Charles Gramlich said...

Cool imagery in your scene here. That brooch looks good enough to eat.

Jon M said...

Wonderful stuff!
I will change my attitude to visitors which follows the old adage that they are like fresh fish, best thrown out after three days!

No post tomorrow...how will I cope? Have you even considered the trials of the vacuum? :-)

Scott from Oregon said...

I really enjoyed my coffee with the Danish this morning...

Bernita said...

Thank you, Sam. Yes, a "cunning woman," a sort of sibyl. Shall make note of the title.

Kind of you, Kate. Thank you.

I'm always willing to beat a simile or metaphor to death, Charles!
Other examples of jewellry from the period are equally stunning. It is to drool.

Thank you, Jon.
There's always the archives.
"considered the trials of the vacuum?" Yes, every time I contemplate the dog hair on the living room rug.

Bernita said...

So did I, Scott, while reading your blog post!

Gabriele C. said...

Pillage the library - better hide the Book of Kells, then. :)

Lovely description. I hope you'll have fun with your invaders.


Word verification: pwmbmdd
Now, if that doesn't sound Welsh ....

raine said...

Absolute poetry, Bernita.

I know few people who can make an invasion sound so lovely. ;-)

Bernita said...

Hee, was just thinking of that, Gabriele!
They'll just rip off the pretty cover.
Thank you. There's been a water duel already...

Thank you, Raine.
Because they are my marauders, you see.

Robyn said...

Awww. Have fun.

Bernita said...

Thank you, love.

Jeff said...

Very nice,Bernita!

Bernita said...

Thank you, Jeff.

Susan Miller said...

Charles sent me over here, Bernita. He is correct. You have a beautiful voice in your writing. It makes the reader yearn for more. Beautiful.

Bernita said...

Susan, thank you for the kind coments.
Charles is a lovely man.