Wednesday, January 01, 2014

John O'Donohue: "Beannacht"

On this first day of the new year I offer yesterday's poem on the Meme 'A Year of Being Here'
"Beannacht" from To Bless the Space Between us;  A Book of Blessings. 
The poem is listed in the book as a blessing for the New Year, but was originally
written for his mother, Josie, on the death of his father.
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 the 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 the 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 recited this poem for Krista Tippett's On Being program shortly before his death in 2008.  Click here to hear the poet's reading, presented with a collage of images selected by his friends.  (from the Curator's notes in 'A Year of Being Here')
This is a vimeo video - if you don't belong to Vimeo it is free to download if you care to hear the poet's beautiful Irish brogue read these lovely comforting words.


The Weaver of Grass said...

Beautiful Hildred. I had not heard it before so have copied it and intend to read it at our next poetry gathering.

Reader Wil said...

Beautiful poem , Hildred! A better NY wish is hardly possible! But I wish you a great and healthy New Year.I am still in Oz and working on a strange computer.I'll be back by the end of January.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I loved this when I got it in my e-mail (again, thank you for that) and the title word is one I won't forget. I will go to the link now and listen, but didn't want to forget to comment.

Morning's Minion said...

What beautiful imagery. The Irish do this well.