A Walk on the Edge – Helena M. Ryan

A Walk on the Edge: Prince Edward Island
Helena M. Ryan

Do I dare? 
Do I dare? 
Do I dare take a walk on the edge? 
Do I step into that liminal space along the shoreline? 
The gravitational sea of waves conjure memory moving through space and time. 
It is then I discover, I become ever more, not ever less. 

I stand here at the edge of my Atlantic Island Worlds; 
so far away, yet ever near. 
My tale is a consistent mythos of saudade (Portuguese), 
an extraordinary pensive mood of nostalgia and longing for my Atlantic Isle and sea. 
Lasting near half a century, 
I have been seeking my sapphire shores of a precious island jewel, 
Saint Michael, an island known to be the tip of the Kingdom of Atlantis;
the enchanted Isle of Azores;
the isle where I was born. 

Exalted, I found my Atlantic Sea,
on Prince Edward Island this late summer past. 
But with the turn of the seasons’ tides, 
she has dramatically presented her mask of two faces.  
I had deceived myself. 
The ebb and flow of the water’s edge does not always sing the ocean’s song. 
This is a cold-water island. 
The sea does not always sound her music by her instrumental water. 
The edge is frozen. 
The song of this side of the Atlantic Sea is a howl, a whistle, a whisper, 
sung by the cold north winds. 

I suffer the Parallax effect, 
the apparent displacement of myself from the angle of my point of view.
On the edge, I realize distance measured is only a perceived mindset. 

Music is an enchanting element,
felt before it is heard. 
The potential to cross these frozen waters is real; 
the scope of my imagination can take me anywhere.


As my shamrock green scarf flails wildly,
it allows me to see the phantom wind. 
My face, I cannot shield to the anti-meter rhythm of the winter air. 
I decline the dance.
The wind does not fair at my back, 
but dances around me,
whistling his merry winter tune.
I am against the raging tempest that binds me here. 

Wind, you cannot sweep me off my feet, 
I fear not your taunts. 
I am not lost; 
my roots command it so.

The paradise isle lures me; 
it haunts me.
The water spirit swims in the depths of the sea,
to bestow a boon for me.
Salty one, sorceress of delusions;
conjure your spell.
I know what lies beyond. 

I faintly hear the salty sorceress’ call behind the wind.


On the edge, I am an imperial scepter.
Prince Edward lies down his royal white cloak,
granting passage out to sea.
The Harbour Passage to the Northumberland Straight is narrow;
Feeling unsteady to tack against the wind,
I fix my eyes on the horizon,
and orient myself to the Earth.

Nautical Prince Edward, your adulation fools me, but only once.
The sailboats are on the hard. 
The harbour’s edge is decorated in mosaic patterns of solid ice blocks.
Fearing death may come,
you have anchored the mariners on Prince Edward Island, 
your mistress on the sea.
Prince Edward, pledge to never wed, 
only bed the maiden, 
lest you leave behind the Widow’s peak to lament in piteous wailing. 
Prince Edward, I can only ever remain your mistress; 
I am wed to another on the continent’s Superior shores; 
And above all rank, my true love will always be Saint Michael. 
In awe, the deity of the sea calls out to me:
Come to me, you are an itinerant of the sea.
Am I myth, or destiny? 
You are my daughter, said she. 

Who am I? 
I am not one, 
but many identities of my inherent and my external reality.
I am enigmatic in my islandness.
Is it the enchantment from the realm of the past which fights the power of time?
A child of the sea, I am Azoreana, from a true mystical isle of sleeping volcanos, boiling springs in mystic grounds, and surrounded by the dangers of the sea. 
I’ve come from the depths of the Northern Forest of Canada,
a continent where I float amongst my internal divided essence; 
the consequence of being nourished by a bohemian nation of nations. 

I keep my eyes on my blue heaven.
Saint Michael battle for me. 
Hawk talons swoop down,
carry me over the threshold, 
through the portal of the sea.

Dried thistle with their prickly spines bare, 
echo the mood, here.  
Highland’s regal hero blossoms my battle cries.
Blazing canons perched on the mound,
aim to conquer my frozen hell, in this cold war.

Epekwitk (“Abegweit”), cradle me in your cozy nook. 
My footing clings to your frozen red edge; 
a tinted red seafoam, 
now a pumice stone of ice.
From your fire-red soil, I feel your warmth. 
We are kindred elemental spirits of fire,
forged under the blazing sun. 

Lit by the beacon of hope,
March is at the edge of the white sun season, 
springing forward an extra hour of evening light, 
when the sun will kiss the sea, once more. 
Saint Michael, Prince Edward, kindred blood, my maple abode;
Lucky clover of my heart divine, 
for whose love I could not exist.

In this cradled Garden of Eden, 
the tree of knowledge is bare of her foliage and fruit of temptation.
Newton’s Laws of motion and gravity forced the apple of silence, 
which teaches one the gift of fruitful thoughts. 
You will not be bare forever.
Voices linger; the seasons change.
Your hardened heart on the surface will begin to slowly melt away. 

These islands live by the creed of the Atlantic Ocean. 
Only under a particular light or hue, can the obscure be visible. 
The aura of these two islands can become invisible by their own radiant beauty. 

Soon, I will return home to the continent from these frozen shores.
Memories will rise with the swell of the tide and the roar of the ocean. 
The Atlantic Sea will sing her song, once again.

My heart will cleave to these distant islands, 
to map the future for all that is to come ⎯
a walk on the edge, 
I am an islander, ever more.

Song: A Walk on the Edge 

I stand here at the edge of my Atlantic Worlds
You’re far away, so far away.
But I’m ever near your sapphire shore,
Against the raging tempest that binds me here.

Prince Edward lie down your royal white cloak.
Grant me passage to the open sea. 
Saint Michael battle this frozen hell for me,
the sea for me, calls out to me.

Sing to thee, I sing to thee.
Portal of the sea; on my distant shore.
My heart anchors to the Atlantic edge. 
I’m an islander, ever more.

I walk on the edge. A walk on the edge,
your frozen red, frozen red,
Walk on the edge. 
I sing to thee, to melt the sea.
She calls out to me, calls out to me,
across the sea.

Ladai ladai, A walk on the edge, 
walk on the edge, your frozen red.
Walk on the edge, your frozen red.
I sing to thee, to melt the sea. 

Tinted red seafoam, 
now a pumice stone of ice.
I’ll sing to you, spirit fire,
Cradle me, laree lalee.  
I’ll sing to you, 

Deity of delusions, salty one. 
Sorceress of longing,
Conjure your spell,
Atlantis tips; sun kiss the sea.

Laree lalee, I walk on the edge, 
a walk on the edge, your frozen red. 
Walk on the edge, your frozen red.
I sing to thee, to melt the sea.
Atlantic Sea, she calls to me.

Memories, haunting memories; 
walk on the edge, I walk on the edge, 
Atlantic Sea, calls out to me, 
calls out to me, she calls to me.

A walk on the edge, walk on the edge.
Your frozen red. Your frozen red.
I sing to thee, to melt the sea.
Sorceress call to me, she calls to me.
She calls to me, Atlantic creed.

I walk on the edge, a walk on the edge.
Your frozen red. Your frozen red,
Walk on the edge. 
I sing to thee, to melt the sea.
She calls out to me, calls out to me.
Now where’s my home; true home to be. 
Where is my home, Atlantic Sea.