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,
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
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.