A Suite of Songs for Saint Brigid, February 2013 A.D.

I

A long time had passed.  When asked

the King could only thus reply,

“Brigid?  Oh yes!  I knew her well.

She was, she was, let me tell you,

some woman.  Oh yes, some woman!”

He thought again, remembering.

“When she asked, I promised.

‘The ground beneath my cloak’, she said.

Her cloak that grew to the grazing

of even twice two hundred cows!”

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II

The folk of whom I am bred

of her still say

as always they said

This is her well

on her Holy Day

we drink

This is the bush

where she knelt

to pray

Here we hang cloths of red

that the young may return

whence they have fled

These are dark green rushes

we gather together

 from wet wasteful lands

These we weave in the shape

of her cross

with prayerful hands

Over the door they hang

that safe from fire

our house may last

Outside over the byre

they protect the beasts

from sickness and harm

Always and ever, above the rest

we will seek

we will take

waters of the well

that she has blessed.

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III

Born of slaves, yet blessed at birth,

in turn she blessed so many,

always seeing their inner worth.

Babies, young infants, the troubled

children from suffering homes,

for these her prayers were doubled.

Blacksmiths, mariners, fugitives,

chicken farmers, dairy workers,

to all these her prayer she gives.

Workers at our printing presses,

along with midwives and dairy maids

are but some she daily blesses.

Boatmen, watermen, travellers

as they go their various ways,

these she protects, they too are hers.

For scholars turning learned books,

for poets she had such loving time,

her hands hold the hands of my friends,

and when moved to write, of mine.

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Ivy

She drew my eyes to her,

ivy of the woods.

She stood out

as a black hole of darkness

amidst the low light of Winter’s sun.

Pleasant was the air among the trees,

sun’s rays lighting

smooth and rough skin of the trees,

warming earth for the Blue Bells,

still asleep,

save only  in the middle of the woods,

among the trees,

a place where ivy profusely grows,

a great hole of darkness,

so strong that she nearly

drank thirstily

the bright light of the woods.

She drew my eyes to her,

ivy of the blessed well,

but full of light now,

wet,

on the sides of steps

going down to the blessed well,

wet, reflecting

light around a dark place

ivy, light of the blessed well.

With the grace of God, ivy

from darkness to light.

copyright Kevin Connelly 2012