Roslin Scriptorium Poem

low in ashen sky
hangs a sun past prime
its dim copper rays
become sheared ribbon
tangled in sharp branch

below the mangroves
under bent cypress
and ash turned leprous
by ruinous touch
of cold, dismal swamp

amidst reed and fern
entrenched in gray mud
a woman toils with
desperate purpose
suffocating dread

nervous fingers shake
as needle passes
through molded garment
stitch by frantic stitch
sanity undone

eyes apprehensive
skim stagnant waters
brackish, foetid, rank
pools of rancid bile
dark humors expelled

vision halts upon
mounds of riven earth
erupting black soil
gashed by twisted roots
viscera spilling

monolith cradles
jet tablets etched deep
with monstrosities
relic wicked beasts
in patient slumber

baleful thoughts intrude
of unhallowed gods
in timeless repose
beneath cursed abyss
chaos unalive

time presses urgent
as twilight draws near
for in the morrow
celestial realms
find sinister rhyme

southward equinox
as needle and thread
weave their final loop
culminate last stitch

compelled by cruel fate
she wades, step by step
into lightless depths
pockets sewn and sealed
laden with heaviest stone

Anon. – Roslin Scriptorium Collection [ID: 76750235] – National Library of Scotland – Translated by George Linklater

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