Talenkynic arrives in Dromdrevc

It was decided I would die on my birthday, my parents and the guardians agreed. Death was to take place in the Quuadravik. The town square. All the ritual killings took place there and for my parents there was honour attached to the place of my death. Lesser children were killed by the Gorthachiv, the garbage hole, and disposed of immediately. My body would be in repose for a week, to allow celebrations and fraternising of the higher families.

My schooling stopped on the day the deal was set, there was a month for my body to be prepared for the day. Each morning I took a ritual bath whilst bitter herbs infused the water and honey, cleansing every part of me. In the afternoon my hair was plaited in the intricate patterns, one for each day, I carried a countdown calendar to my own demise on my head. Evenings were spent with the local guardian, it was their responsibility to ensure my mind, heart and innards were scourged of the evil that had brought this death penalty to me.

What crime did I commit? That of laziness, around the Quuadravik was the Path of Right Thinking, the local rule was: To step on the Path, a person must complete the entire Path before continuing their journey. I was walking with Dorinek, listening to his boasts, not caring about the unlikeliness of the tales because he had the most gorgeous blue eyes and they were concentrating on me. A classic case of girl meets boy, in being in this bubble of “teen love” I accidentally stepped onto the Path. I lithely jumped across as if I hadn’t touched it and continued gazing into those blue eyes. Dorinek told me to go back, he got all grumpy with me and stalked off, I didn’t see him again. From what I heard he immediately told the guardian of my folly and the rest is history.

So there I was on the afternoon of my birthday, plaited, dressed and ready for the procession to the town square when the great guardian arrived from Dromdrevc. My parents although quite high in our town, were not high enough for a visit from him on a death day. But there he was, and there I was and very shortly afterwards the two of us were in Dromdrevc in front of the guardianship…

The Turf Bank

As I bent down once again creating the stook at the edge of the bank I cursed my absent husband. It was the one place, and the one job that I missed him most, turf. Three hours so far today I had been stooping and placing sods of turf in the intricate design known as a stook, many hours this year I had spent turning and footing the damned stuff. It was his smell that surrounded me, his voice in my ear. Not sweet nothings, it is an extensive rulebook, little stories ran through my mind like the day he came back from the bog berating poor Jerry Pa.

“Girl, a fierce day at the bog, the wind would cut ye in two. Saw young Jerry Pa, what a scoundrel, his daddy would roll over in his grave to see him trat the sods like that. His turf’ll be so wet and heavy he’ll never raise smoke from his fireplace this winter. Took it straight off the ground and threw it into an abstract kind of a stook. Tis no way to treat turf. Treat it right and it’ll warm the coldest of hearts come winter.”

 

I remember when I first asked in all innocence what a foot was. He laughed heartily “Maybe the villagers are right about ye, a flighty young one from the city, knowing nothing about turf. Lil you’ll be at the bog one day, and I’ll tell ye, all in good time.”

 

I was from Cork city, a civilised place with gas to heat us in the winter and a coal fire on special occasions. I married Dan when I was twenty two, fresh out of college and full of life, Dan was a fully paid up member of the bachelor club until I arrived this year according to the old men gossiping after Mass, he was forty four.

We had first met when I was sixteen and running away from home because my brother, the sneaky little pup had stolen my diary and read it to the gang of kids we hung out with. Full of teenager-angst he told them all I had a crush on Timmy, the unofficial leader of our pack. My diary no more said those words than if the Pope had a baby, himself. So I was on the train to Mallow, with a bag of clothes, a tenner and a packet of biscuits. Dan, was just the man sitting opposite, nose in a book, he didn’t blip on my radar, owld one. The train had been getting up speed over the viaduct when it made a sudden stop. Dan fell forward over the table and we banged heads.

 

Through apologies and smiles, I noticed he had wrinkly lines around deep blue eyes. The guard didn’t come down to tell us why we’d stopped and we started to chat pondering on the situation ideas from cow on the track to alien attack, we had great fun laughing at the more preposterous stories. He had a flask of tea and offered me some so I got out my food store and we had a mini picnic. He was great fun for such an old man.

We became friends, he helped me through the tough teenage years by phone and by letter. Dan encouraged me to continue my studies and he began a courtship, old-fashioned courtship of me, during my college years. The day of my last exam, he swept me off to Kerry and proposed in The Square, Listowel. We married months later, no children were to grace our step but he was a good man and I still missed him five years on. Crying softly to myself I bent down and continued the ritual of stooking.

Hopelessness

grey world

grey people

grey lives

lonelyafraid

alonebereft

greyness rules

murky dismal drab

not dark enough for pure evil

squalid dingy grey

never abating

grey world

grey people

breathing without hope

You are needed here

Covenant Love

promise me, keep me

never let go of me

i am Yours and You are mine

A sign of our love

look to the sky

see My truth

in Me your hope is found

A sign of My love

feeding needs

weak made strong

mustard seed of hope

All signs of Your love

(in awe of rainbows)

My God

Your unfailing love is priceless

Your righteousness like mighty mountains

Your justice deeper than deep, deep, seas

Your faithfulness is boundless

And Your love reaches even me

In the shadow of your wings

I find rest, shelter and peace

The Light of this world

Humbled to walk as us

Punished as a living sacrifice

I owe You so much

Unworthy as I am, You love me

Sinner before You, Your grace envelopes

I confess, I heal, born anew

Broken hearted, remade soft

inspired by Psalm 36