Happy Burns Night to one and all! Slàinte mhath!
I recall the many voices
that sounded my childhood days
some in such lyrical fashion,
others with weightier authority—
those of my father, my mother,
brother, friends, even strangers—
and I would repeat them all
mimicking accents when alone
and safely unheard by others,
unheard and less likely to be mocked,
challenging notions of speech
and strictly defined identity,
never feeling quite comfortable
with being a singular voice.
Even now, I explore voices
while sharing them professionally
with others for pleasure.
Yet the one voice that must always
define me in accordance with
my own wishes is that of
my mother’s homeland,
land of the Stewarts and Bruces,
the Blairs, McConnells, Kennedys,
MacDonalds, Oliphants, Campbells,
McCandlesses, McWhirters, Hepburns,
and so many more clans besides
whose bloodlines still flow
in these aging veins of mine,
finding expression in the plethora
of pleading, playful voices
my heart endearingly speaks.
You are my past
and my future,
and to you all I say
In honor and memory of family and friends over the years, I approach the new year 2021 with this offering, singing Robert Burns’ beloved For Auld Lang Syne. I love you all.
the burn meanders
its crying worries my soul
I long for silence