The Father's Story

The day was just begun when the news arrived.  And the light, so willingly come, quickly faded.  Darkness returned.  Darkness of heart.  Darkness of Soul.  And the dawning light of day was turned, by the arrival of the news, into night time.  In a moment shadows fell, when the dreadful news arrived.

The informants, the lake dwellers, reported the apparition. Their tale was of a beautiful sight. Dancing gracefully across the sky, four swans flew, following the river’s path, and came to settle on the lake shore.  All was normal.  The blue horizon of the swelling hills shimmered in the dusky misty light, carried the chattering birdsong of twilight chorus across the land.  Screeches and high shrills combined in happy melody to call across the pastel earth that the daytime heat was passing.  All normal, yet what is normal when one is scorned and loses hope in the gentle world.

She told me they were drowned.  Now I need all my strength and courage.  I must not be hindered by memories of the past or hopes of the future.  I must go to the lakeside myself.

The Children's Story

The following day on the opposite bank, standing in the golden dawn was our father.  Outlined against the sky we watched as he stared across the lake towards us.  Then we heard his sigh.  A lament that understood we were all that could be offered.  There was no happiness in acknowledgement, only the aching of a sigh and of a heart.

Shivering at the water’s edge and ready to take on the rolling water we rose.  We depended on the breeze to casually ease our plump wings into the air. The zephyrs did not fail us. We ran with the wind and found a freedom. We were not held but we were trapped. Our dreams were haltered to each other and frozen in time.  Long we will be here and then linger in another place and then… Oh misery… and yet, father, we are here with you now and we will be happy yet, and we will for all time.

Our father talked to us.  We laughed together as much as swans and humans can. Through all our lives and through all ages we have been together.  Unknown, the link between is so deep and so fine.  It has always survived.  Secretly, destiny has found a heavenly chant, softly keeping us safe for each other.

The Mother's Story

Not gone. Not forgotten. Speed away for 900 years of wandering.  He will always love you.

I told him they were drowned. Alas, he sees into my soul and he knows I lie.  Childless, I am unfulfilled.  Childless, my arms are empty.  Childless I ache, watching him play with her children. 

What I have done cannot be changed.  Yet, the Lord will exact a penance.  Whilst I converted them into soft creatures visited by friends and with joy in their world, my cruel fate is as a wailing demon of the air.  Hear my shrieks of agony echo on the wind, oh favoured Children of Lir.

Page last updated: 12th Jan 2011