Memorial to Brendan

St. Brendan made a big impression on me from afar. When I visited Ireland on pilgrimage, I was impressed in person.

We made many what-we-considered-brilliant navigation decisions to find his final resting place at Clonfert Cathedral. While it hadn’t been torn down to build condos, or anything, I still found it kind of a sad place: unkept, remote, unused, perhaps mostly unknown. My memory of the time of reflection we shared there, all alone with the past, aroused this poem. I share it with you as one of the ways I want to experience Memorial Day. Some people, like Brendan, have fought hard for the faith. I haven’t forgotten.

The fly’s sporadic monotone
Disturbs the still air of Clonfert Cathedral –
That remote island of memory
In a sea of sleepy farms
On a sleepy summer day.

The dusty, unused altarpiece
Cries out for the old man buried in the yard –
That distant vision of voyage
In a sea of sleepy faith
On a pilgrim’s well-worn way.

A dazzling, sunlit Celtic cross
Shines in the door and vainly warms the stones –
The pavement hiding the hearty
In an earth of rotting flesh
And a land’s forgetful day.

A faint persistent irritant
Infects the still air of silent reflection –
The startled pew-creak of contempt
In a tomb for caring men
Shrieks the end of Brendan’s way.

Advertisements

About Rod White

Pastor for Circle of Hope. Graduate of Fuller Seminary, PhD in MFT from Eastern University.
This entry was posted in Poetry and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

It would be great to hear what you are thinking. Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s