Clyde, Clydeh, Clydhe, Cludha.
The waters rise up, envelop you, take you down.
Cold at first, oh so cold, but your core temperature drops,
As he makes you his own.
Warm now, in his embrace, you see for the first time, the history of this place.
The visions play before your eyes,
Scenes of battles, scenes of peace.
Lives of dear friends in a dear green place.
A foreign God, a man from the south, the true tales of a tree, a bird, a fish, a bell, and the path man took to create a hell
he could fear and hold over another head.
Oh, how that will help, indeed it’s vital, for the power of an empire and great family rivals to take their hold and shape the land.
Your lungs feel strange as the vision turns.
Now great smoke, now bitter taste of chemicals, now bruises from an iron ship that strikes your side and knocks you further down.
But it’s all right.
The river has you now. It wraps you tighter, tighter still. No need to breathe here. Clutha’s life is yours. There is no separation. So he shows you another thing,
A dream to make your heart sing,
Full of soil and roots and insect wings; stalks and leaves and tall canopies. Buildings full of treasured things,
And the wonder of small children.
Quite suddenly your vision changes,
An orange blur, like a traffic cone, and a hand reaches down to save you.
The river wraps tighter around your chest, but the hand is strong and relentless.
At last he gives you up, lets you rise with tug of a ring that must be returned to the sovereign. Red and white, gripped in the crook of an elbow, and you emerge.
Dripping on the sidewalk, saint Andrew looking down, you long for Clutha’s arms as you lick his kiss from your lips. He tells you “No. No, not today. But I am in you now and you will never be far away.”