Showing posts from August, 2022


  “If you love somebody, set them free…” sang Sting back in 1985. I sing the song now down at Rockanore. Freedom of seagulls, sea, and wind. Quite an astonishing thought! Love ultimately lets us go, sets us free, even sends us away so that we can be who we are meant to be, though we don’t often really want to be sent away, perhaps not even free. We prefer to be held, to cling. Routine, controlled, measured living and loving. The soul in me is endeavouring to reclaim something, to rediscover the purity and freedom of who I really am. This endeavour takes me to Mary Ann McDonagh’s kitchen in Kilronan of Aran, behind the pub that she ran with her sister Katie. I went there every morning as a small boy. The black range shone, and the big black kettle was always boiling for the wetting of tea at any given moment. She would sit on her kitchen chair near the table, and I would kneel at her feet, my hands resting on her lap. I loved her so much, felt utterly safe and well in her presence. And

Drifting Away

  I feel like a Yank Returning to this rugged Remoteness Her face in repose Utterly unfamiliar In death  It is her voice That remains The bright kindliness With which she used To speak my name Summoning summer days Of another time Young men Fishing Fast driving Effortless friendship I remember David diving Into the bottle-green Calm of the deep To retrieve the oar That had slipped Drifting away Like a prophecy Coming back To the shallow shore And the dying Out of our friendship I still don’t know How we became Such strangers I think of him now Pray for him s leeping  Slipping away Far away from here The innocent bed We shared back then In the way that young friends did As close in soul As in body Word made flesh Body of Christ The tender warmth Of it The beauty And though it is lost It is a history That abides within my soul Treasured