War Song


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The West Land is terrible. I go toward this fearful land. I
have come to step over your soul. Your spittle I have put
to rest under the earth. I have come to cover you over in
black rocks, black cloths, black slabs, never to reappear.
Toward the black coffin of the Darkening Land your paths
shall stretch out. So shall it be for you, now that your soul
has faded away. It has become blue. When the darkness
comes your spirit shall grow less and dwindle. Quickly,
this soul shall be without motion. There, under the earth,
where the black war clubs move about like ball sticks in
the game, there your soul shall never reappear. I cause it to
be so. You shall never go and lift up your war club. There,
under the earth, the black war club and the black fog come together.
The black fog shall never be lifted.

Variation of a translation by James Mooney

Bruce McRae, a Canadian musician, came to poetry late but has enjoyed a large number of publications in the past 10 years, recently gaining airplay for his poems and songs in the U.K., Australia and the U.S.A. The So-Called Sonnets, is his first book, which this audio poem is an excerpt from. More information can be found on his website: bpmcrae.com.