Somerled’s Final Voyage

September 4, 2014 at 11:35 pm


Somerled’s final voyage
At that time when day turns to night.
When the sea holds its breath,
stills its voice.
The wind drops and keeps its peace.
A black-sailed burlin
slips into the sound, sails furled.
Sheets strumming their own rhythm,
to join the sailors’ lament
and the grey seals sing their eerie song.
Somerled sails his final voyage.

As the mighty keel comes to rest on the sand
The Lord of the Isles is carried home.
With the setting of the sun,
With a pounding of silver hooves,
With the ringing of many golden bells
The fairies of the west come with the mist
To welcome the great hero home.
On a road paved with tears
Somerled is borne by warriors who weep.

His fighting done, his battles won
In Oran’s chapel he lies.
A spear in hand, a sword at hip
And a battle-scarred shield to guard his heart.
For all time he will sleep with saints,
A faithful hound to guard his rest.

Jane Laskey, Iona 2007

Mungrisdale Writers help to launch Jubilee celebrations!

June 8, 2012 at 10:20 am

Photograph by Sally Bohling

Mungrisdale Writers Group launched the Jubilee celebrations with a bang on the Friday night in Mungrisdale Village Hall.  For weeks now we’ve been looking at memories of childhood, particularly the 1950s, which applies to quite a lot of us.  Books which inspired us as children had then led onto memories of the Coronation – such a rich variety, everything from a street party in a pit village in the north-east to the horrors of sitting next to a white poodle on a whiter-than-white rug in front of the TV, from sneaking outside to play cricket between showers, to the chandler’s shop with a parrot, from the recipe for Coronation Chicken to a grandfather who looked like a vampire!  The readings were very popular, and were followed by a showing of ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ to a packed audience.  Mungrisdale Writers, for which I am tutor, has been going for nearly 14 years now and has a big membership – over thirty, of which 10-14 people come once a fortnight on a Thursday morning.  You can find out more about the writing and how you could join the group here

I’m taking the summer off, and MWG  have a great summer programme planned.  Visiting tutors include Terry Jones, winner of the prestigious Bridport Prize for poetry, and Janni Howker, novelist and short story writer.  These sessions are open to anyone, and you would be welcome to attend.  Contact details are on the website.  I will be back in October to start normal sessions again, after I run my Writers Retreat in Brittany.