Knowing, not knowing

Black Agnes defended her Castle

Dunbar against the English and beat them off.

Mistress of King David the Second,

long after Sprota, a Breton captive,

was taken in the Viking fashion

as a wife by William Longsworth,

to give birth to Richard the Fearless

in Fecamp. He died there.

A thousand years later,

I drank too much Benedictine

with my mother at the monastery,

over his bones.

We laughed our way, flushed,

around the town,

not knowing.

Richard was King Rollo's grandson,

the Viking raider of legend,

my grandpa 38 times in the past.

Before Rollo was attacking Paris,

another grandfather, Cinaed mac Ailpin,

(first King of Scots, King of the Picts,

and father of Wingfooted White Flower,

the King of Alba),

according to myth

was conquering Drost

at Scone.

He is buried on Iona,

that sparkling, magical isle across

the water from Erraid.

I walked up the hill

above Iona Abbey

and made a wish

on my birthday

in the deep Well of Age,

a gateway to the Otherworld.

Then looked for Sheila Na Gig

cut into the convent,

pulling her cunt wide open

for the nuns delight.

I walked amongst the bones

of my ancestors,

feeling happy and connected

like I was home,

yet still not knowing.

That night the aurora borealas played its most

magnificent show across the sky,

as we struck out across the peat bog

to the snug pub in Fionnphort

where musicians sang and beat the drum.

Whilst I drank pints of good ale,

the ancestors were content

I was on track to rediscover them,

my bones already knowing

their stone of destiny.