Thursday, March 18, 2010

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. All rights reserved
(from Echoes of Memory)

It has been two years since John O'Donohue left the earth he loved so much, but his expansive Irish heart is still with us, held in a net of his sublimely Celtic and utterly poetic words. OJohn's beautiful benediction is the perfect poem for this St. Patrick's Day week with its notions of homecoming, moonlight, calm waters and comfort, and I can think of no finer blessing. At the request of his family and the executors of his literary legacy, I have added a copyright note and link to John's website - it may be visited by clicking on his name near the top of this paragraph.


the wild magnolia said...

Excellent photo of "canoe people" on the lake, misty air and mountain time....

The poetry of John O'Donohue touches my the heart of my spirit. I will tuck this words in my heart and call on them often.

Thanks Cate.

Anonymous said...

One of my favorite John O' Donohue blessings. It has carried my many times through rough waters, it carries me now. May the clay dance to balance us all.

Wendi said...

I LOVE John O'Donohue, and this is my favorite blessing of his. I had the privilege of downloading an MP3 of him reciting this a while back. On bad days, I listen to it over and over and it soothes my soul. Thanks for sharing this. ;-)I'd be happy to share the MP3 with you. It's also available on the Speaking of Faith radio program website. There's a long interview with him there, too. He was such a beautiful human being.

Lindsay said...

I did not know this poem. What a gift it is. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic indeed!

Val said...

Thank you for the blessing Cate, at a time when my heart yearns for Iona.

Sky said...

i must purchase a book of his words since i love them so much. this image is so serene, cate. all the reasons i love to visit - beautiful, meaningful words for my mind and heart, delightful treats for my eyes. thank you.

Deborah Carr said...

magical words. magical photo. I can hear the soft slap of the oars against the silk.

One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

The words speak to my heart.
Thank you dear Cate for sharing.

Unknown said...

It is so great to see how John’s work continues to weave “words of love . . . an invisible cloak, to mind your life.” I want to support you in sharing that inspiration and love; and I am also responsible for minding the technicalities connected with the preservation of John’s estate and literary legacy.

John’s family would be very grateful if you would add to your quote a note that gives the copyright attribution ( © John O’Donohue. All rights reserved). It would also be great if you could provide a link to the web site: — so that those who want to know more about John can come to us!

warmly and with gratitude,