Monday, April 30, 2018


Colm Cille. "church dove" is my name
but I am no peaceful dove and
I leave Ireland trailing bloody footprints
clutching a book of peace I stained with war

my penance fractures the heart in me
this journey north across the sea in
a coracle crib of hazel and willow frame and
stretched leather, births me again

not mothered to sea or sail we fight the currents
to reach Rathlin. Stars shine down. Then
a hot day to Islay. Blistered hands. Sun-baked head
eyes drawn backward to the home that spurns me

wind tossed we spiral through whirlpools of Corryvreckan
sea and islands, wind and waves
I feel the untamed power of the Almighty and
know myself impotent in His palm

a foreign landscape smudges the horizon
a different language waits on my tongue
The weight of three thousand dead presses on my soul
His power to transform fills me

His purpose shouts with every roll of thunder, is
written in the chasing clouds, in strands of grey
new birthed by the coracle, baptised by the sea
I am, at last, His Colm Cille, His peace herald dove

Here, in Iona, I make a new home

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