Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thursday Poem - Beannacht (Blessing)

On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.

And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.

John O'Donohue (Echoes of Memory)

This is perhaps an odd choice of poem and photo for this weather and season, but John O'Donohue passed away in his sleep about a week ago, and the world is poorer for the departure of this mad and divinely inspired Irish poet, scholar, bard and deep Celtic thinker. John was a man of such charm, exuberance and humanity that wherever he journeyed, he seemed to shine forth like a beacon.

A copy of his beautiful blessing has been traveling along in my billfold for years now, and it has so often given comfort in darker moments. John once said: "I would love to live like a river flows, carried along by the surprise of its own unfolding." His was ever a steady hand on the great cosmic tiller, and I shall miss him.


Endment said...

Thank you for sharing this today!!!
timely words -- wonderful tribute

Shelli said...

I love this poem. Thank you for introducing me to his work.

Val said...

Oh I hadnt heard about John O'Donohue. A gentle way to find out, thank you. His book Anam Cara is within reach on my shelf.

GreenishLady said...

I cannot believe I hadn't heard of his passing. Thank you for the tribute to this wonderful soul. I never met him, but have met some of those he has touched in life. Thank you again.

julia said...

Thank you for sharing this poem

elaine said...

You and your readers may be interested:

This Sunday (January 20th) on CBC's Tapestry - Mary Hynes in conversation with John O'Donohue, from a program first broadcast in 2004.

I plan to listen. It's also available for download as a podcast.

Thank you for introducing me to his poetry.

Blicky Kitty said...

Oh someone emailed me with this poem today and I wanted to come visit and thank you for posting it! Such a thing of beauty!