The Epochs’ Sentinel

Proudly stands the ancient Rock, the epoch’s sentinel
Resolute upon the running fields
Once home to primal, angry mangonels
And men of arms with glinting claimhte and clashing shields
Where prayers were said in whispers and in hallowed song
Where worship rose a scented smoke upon the lifting breeze
Where stones have stood through seasons changed and long
Through countless lives of men and aged trees
A place where death is laid to lasting rest
The rotted frames in dust awaiting second life
Until that day the stones and grass anticipate the final quest
The land to be released from sin and bloody strife
The Rock is standing still
The epoch’s sentinel

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She Calls to Me

She calls to me. The fair island.

 

Her fragrant scent,
so sweet,
so full of death and growth,
flows o’er the oceans vast
that stretch so tautly on
our mother’s swollen womb
with dark and melancholy
histories
distending in a body’s sullen soul
by resonating peals;
a paradox, a pox
of reeling brews
that ply a healing trade
on dour thoughts and funny feelings paining
through unholy nights;
through songs sung sadly
through the ages’ deaths;
her wars whirl gayly in merry, Faerie step;
her people weave
into the dirt and grass and trees,
tied ever to her lovely, bloody land
by langauge’s lilting
rugged lullabies –
bog-born brogues of soil’s
ferocious raw-bred tenacity,
bred on love and sorrow’s teats –
raised in seas and rolling mountains green with growth,
maturing in the mouths of saints
and scholared bards
(a full and heady brew,
drunk and read and writ
by literary sages
singing in their happy
rage)

 

Persistently she calls to me,
sweet Eire fair, until her bloody end.

Toddlers in Cathedrals

I am convinced that poets are toddlers in a cathedral, slobbering on wooden blocks and piling them up in the light of the stained glass. We can hardly make anything beautiful that wasn’t beautiful in the first place. We aren’t writers, but gleeful rearrangers of words whose meanings we can’t begin to know. When we manage to make something pretty, it’s only so because we are ourselves a flourish on a greater canvas. That means there’s no end to the discovery. We may crawl around the cathedral floor for ages before we grow up enough to reach the doorknob and walk outside into a garden of delights. Beyond that, the city, then the rolling hills, then the sea. And when the world of every cell has been limned and painted and sung, we lie back on the grass, satisfied that our work is done. Then, of course, the sun sets and we see above us the dark dome of glittering stars.

 

On and on it goes, all the way to the lightless borderlands of time and space, which we come to discover in some future age are but the beginnings or endings of a single word spoken from the mouth of God. Some nights, while I traipse down the hill, I imagine that word isn’t a word at all, but a burst of laughter.

 

― Andrew Peterson

What Is a Poet?

What is a poet? An unhappy man who hides deep anguish in his heart, but whose lips are so formed that when the sigh and cry pass through them, it sounds like lovely music…. And people flock around the poet and say: ‘Sing again soon’ – that is, ‘May new sufferings torment your soul but your lips be fashioned as before, for the cry would only frighten us, but the music, that is blissful.

 

― Søren Kierkegaard

(featured image source)

The Silent Mystics’ Cry

Upon the crown the circle lies alert
while cloaks of fog are laid upon the face
as standing stones surround the sacred place
in silence with a gaze in time, inert.
Beneath the stars the stoic pickets spin,
an ageless course upon the mighty tor.
In pensive thought imagination soars
and love for grass and bough, the growing kin.
In riddles does the circle ever turn
these mystics of the shaded, rolling knolls.
In worship of the Maker sing the stones,
for open skies and stars the boulders yearn
Upon the crown the singers lie,
these mystics raise their silent cry.