Líadan & Curithir
after an anonymous Irish lyric, 9th century
between friends must have its cause
in deed done, not a word said.
Mired in desire & error only abiding awe delivers.
Turning craving to advantage is not what’s meant by wish-fulfilment.
Salvage selvedge lost me Curithir’s esteem though myself I was kind.
I caressed (loved) Curithir.
Sheer in truth stands my witness.
Long love kept short company. I saw to it Curithir had his fee.
On dry church shore and wooded down music to hear why here Cuirithir
can’t believe I contrived situations to Curithir’s vexation.
Don’t hide. Truth is he was my soul’s making all others I’ll lay aside
heart ripped into ignition
he is gone
twenty-one notes on a lost observance
[of fire & fleet in the gathering dusk]
† an inarticulate sound, a liturgical marker, a call for attention
† from this lighted, innocent settlement to a frost unsteady realm
† as when the austringer, cutting a hawk from some let or tanglement, feels her all unrecognizing look upon him
† rooks are strongly gregarious, and mob against independent colonists, killing them if they persist in separatism
† it is said that the daughters of Ragnar Hairy-Breeks wove it in a single midday’s course, and it foretold victory with stertorous flapping, defeat with a droop
† let the women keep silence, the main body of the cord relax, the tension increase even after the limit of length is reached, the folds thin, the ligaments flutter
† a formula phrase in law
† see also, the disputed and likely spurious tradition of the ‘sin-eater’
† a battle looms
† a fair flaxen field, spears standing up like heckle-pins
† the expectancy of grass, no flight to the fist
† the second voice, coming in a bar late, enjoins almsgiving
† seven feet of ground, which is more than most men in fairness, and a few small drops of rain
† they reel from arrows
† blue flesh / blue edge / red edge / red flesh / and blue again
† the growling hound, the bating hawk, the hind heavy; the older ballad is the more tender and true in sentiment
† a brand has burnt through here
† hell-mouth reeks may (in and out of the proper season) an heady and a womanlike scent
† weft of gut, warp of hair: the ravens’ dish
† whiter than moonlight, frost salts the thatch
† the imps fly into the hall and shake their bewildered feathers
Kit Fryatt was born in Tehran in 1978 and lived in England, Singapore and Turkey before moving to Ireland in 1999. She now lives in Scotland. She recently published Rain Down Can (Shearsman) and turn push | turn pull (corrupt press). She runs the Wurm im apfel poetry events series and Wurm Press (wurmimapfel.net)