How do we journey on a path without bones,
Far away from the place where our ancestors lie,
When the coins of tradition are not ours to spend,
And the mounds of sweet poetry not ours to tend?
Lend me a staff, Gods, and show me the way.
How do we pray on this alien wind,
Far away from the place where our people drew breath,
When the jargon of penitence fills up our lungs,
And we speak with mouths opened by conquering tongues?
Lend me a tale, Gods, and teach me to sing.
How do we live disconnected from home,
Far away from the wisdom they left on the land,
When the soil of our bodies belongs to this place,
And the ground of our being has found a new face?
Lend me a stone, Gods, and help me to build.
[C.S. MacCath’s poetry and fiction have appeared in Strange Horizons, Clockwork Phoenix: Tales of Beauty and Strangeness, The Pagan Anthology of Short Fiction: 13 Prize Winning Tales, Murky Depths, Mythic Delirium, Goblin Fruit and others. At present, she is working on the first trilogy of a nine-novel space opera entitled Petals of the Twenty Thousand Blossom and a collection of short stories entitled Spirit Boat. You can find her online.]