Ambrosaia agus Mousa | Ambrosia and Muse

By Sandy NicDhòmhnaill Jones

Uisge son beatha gach creutair,
uisge-beatha do phòitear,
ceòl mar bhiadh gaoil don Diùc Orsino. 


Manna san fhàsach,
builean is èisg do chòig mile,
aran is fìon do dheisciopal. 


Do reudan, leabhar
do leòmainn, sìoda is clòimh
do chnuimh, feòil
do ghartain, fuil
- no do Dhracula…. 


Bainne à cìoch màthar do phàiste,
bainne agus mil do Shion
- agus do shìthein, le cròch. 


Do dhiathan, Ambrosaia.
Mousa, do bhàird.


Bitheantas – anabarr - gort….. 


I         Bitheantas
Le biadh mar bhunaid beatha
ithibh gus cumail beò,
no rachabh à bith.
Chaochladh corp, cuisle ’s cridhe
gun anail gun uisg’ ’s gun àraich. 


II        Anabarr
Mas e biadh amas-beatha,
geòcaire ag ùrnaigh don adharc-shaibhreis:
craos sanntach, corp sultmhor, cogais mheilichte
le anabharr-mhilsean;
agus anam falamh.  


III       Gort
Màthraichean tùrsaich claoidhte
sna dùthchannan bochda gun riaghailt gun dòchas,
far a bheil ceannas aig boma is fòirneart is fatwa.
Is a chlann a’ sùghadh gu faoin air cìochan tioram na gorta,
stamagan beaga air at le acras,
sùilean fàsail, casan-maidse, craiceann seargte,
is na fangan ag iathadh mun cuairt orra os an cionn. 


Diathan is Aois-Dàna


IV       Diathan 
’Aμβροσια  - ann an Olympos tìr nan sìor-òg
far nach tig an a-chaoidh an aois,
’s e Ambrosaia biadh nan dhia.
Iadsan rìaghladairean nan speuran agus na cruinne
is Ambrosaia tobar draoidheachd na diadhachd ac’, gu sìorraidh beò,
chan fhaigh iad bàs, chan fhàs iad sean, cha chaill iad maise.  


V        Aois-dàna
Μουσα – beathachadh a bhana-bhàird,
a ceòlraidh agus nicmeanma,
le pathadh-dìleib a mhaireas às ar dèidh:
ceòl is cliù is cuimhne,
binneas-beòil a bheir iongantas,
soillse, brìgh is seagh. 


Seinnidh Μουσα Homer mu Odysseus is Penelope
’s i a’ fighe ’s a’ fuasgladh as ùire
gach oidhche rè fhichead
le foighidinn neo-thràighte
mus till an seachranach nall. 


Cluinnear fhathast puingean binne à cruit Orpheus:
is seòlaidh fhathast an spideag aig Herakleitos,
òir is a dàna an àil
is a h-òrain an sìol.  


 


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Ambrosia and Muse


Water for each creature’s life,
whisky for the tippler,
music as the food of love for Duke Orsino. 


Manna in the desert,
loaves and fishes for five thousand,
bread and wine for disciples. 


For bookworms, a book
for a clothes-moth, silk and wool
for maggots, flesh
for ticks, blood
- or for Dracula…. 


Milk from a mother’s breast for a babe,
milk and honey for Zion
- and for fairy-spirits, with saffron. 


For the gods, Ambrosia.
Muse, for the bards. 


Commonality – gluttony - famine…..


I         Commonality
With food as the foundation of life,
eat to survive,
else pass from existence.
Body, pulse and heartbeat would cease
without breath, water or sustenance. 


II        Gluttony
If food be his purpose in life,
glutton praying at the cornucopi-altar:
greedy gullet, obese body, temperance numbed  
from excessive indulgence;
and a vacant soul.  


III       Famine
Sorrowful exhausted mothers
in poor countries, lawless and hopeless,
where bombs hold sway, and violence and fatwas.
And their children suckling in vain on the dry nipple of famine,
their little stomachs swollen with ravening,
glassy eyes, match-stick legs, withered skin,
and the vultures on the wing, circling them overhead. 


Gods and Poets


IV       Gods
’Aμβροσια  - in Olympos, land of the ever-young
where old-age never comes,
Ambrosia is the food of the gods. 


They, the rulers of heavens and earth:
and Ambrosia the source of their divinity’s magic, eternal life,
they meet no death, they age not, nor lose their beauty. 


V        Poets
Μουσα – nourishment of the bardess,
her muse and her inspiritess,
thirsting for a legacy that will outlast us:
verse and repute and remembrance,
sweetness of words that bestow wonderment,
clarity, meaning and import. 


Homer’s Μουσα will sing of Odysseus and Penelope
and her weaving and un-loosing ever anew  
each night for a score of years
her patience unfailing
until the wanderer returns home. 


We will still hear the sweet notes from Orpheus’ lyre:
and the nightingale of Herakleitos shall still take flight,
for he nurtured her poems
and her songs are their posterity.


Keywords: 
gaelic, Poem, Nourish Author Story