"Public toilets have a duty to be accessible...poetry does not".- Geoffrey Hill. Many thanks to Jim at "The truth about lies". I'm on a winner here, even I don't quite understand what this one means!
We often used to travel back and forth from Warrington to Belfast via the Stranraer Ferry.As my brother was always interested in the maternal side of the family tree, being perverse, I decided to search out the beginnings of the McClelland clan my father's side. So we found Balmaclellan village on the map, as we knew that it was in the Galloway area.
We found an ancient castle, still standing, still lived in, all be it then by a Swedish Count.
He invited us in to look around once he knew that I had been born a McClelland.
The original tower structure was 12thC. and other parts had subsequentially been added in the 1700s. It was quite small as castles go, but impressed me and gave me a sense of generational history. My part of the family had left in the 17thC. and when I wondered how they could ever have left such a beautiful part of Scotland, I was told that they were probably thrown out as cattle thieves! Oh dear...then another in the village told me not to worry as they were all cattle thieves on the borders in those days.... a necessity of life.
So that is where this came from and the thoughts going through my mind at the time.
Birth and death still join their hands
with living in between.
And imperfection rides the land
like some Imperial Queen.
There, Warrington and Belfast
are mixed up in a stew,
And boiled together on the flame of life
'til each imbues
it's flavour on the other one.
For one is birth ,the other death
and one is death the other birth.
Those stories we were told
and at the mother's knee,
Of black and white
of birth and death
No longer lie so easily
Now I have lost the meaning
of so many of those truths.
Hmmm... the place is up for sale and I feel a personal loss..just a bit far for a day out!