by Earl Livings

The knife defines my wrist.
Gift of an expatriate,
Sgian-dubh, ancient weapon
of Highland ancestors,
blooded always when unsheathed.
I have never been home.

The pressed edge twitches
with each systolic beat,
does not break skin.

I admire
this killer's design perfection—
plunging rake of steel
(for anguish of blood),
balanced deer-hoof handle
(a victim surely),
sharp upturn of metal
between blade and bone
(to prevent extreme

and forget to cut.

This poem came out of a period of emotional distress a number of years ago and tells of one choice I had been considering. The knife, an art piece as well as a weapon, had been gifted to me by an in-law who had been back to Scotland and who knew I had some Scottish heritage. I still have the Sgian-dubh and it reminds me of that time and of how far I have come. I have also visited Scotland since, and other countries of the Celtic fringe, and have found myself feeling quite at home in all of them.

Earl Livings has published literary and speculative poetry and fiction in Australia and also Britain, Ireland, Canada, the USA, and Germany. He has a PhD in creative writing and his writing focuses on science, history, nature, mythology and the sacred. In December 2018, Ginninderra Press published his second poetry collection, Libation. Earl is currently working on an historical fantasy novel set in 6th century Britain and a new poetry collection. More information is available on his website  (www.earl-livings.com).

%d bloggers like this: