Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Curse Or Blessing?

In response to the An Fianna poetry challenge, "Write a Poem for Paddy!", here is my contribution:

Curse, or Blessing?

Craggy-faced as the rocks,
He stood, rooted firm on the shore,
His back to the waters.

In a whisper, he muttered,
While waving his hands in the air,
Maledictions, in French.

'Twas the Auld Ones he cursed,
The draiocht, the fili, the Land,
In the Name of his Christ.

Waves lapped at his heels.
He noticed, but calmly ignored;
His work was important.

His words fell to silence.
He spun, with a flip of his robes,
And re-entered the boat.

As the oarsmen took oars,
He turned for a pitying look
At the shores he had damned.

No more would the Snakes
Of draoicht and evil designing
Soil Eriu's fair face.

Twixt water and sand,
A ribbon of wrack in the waves
Formed a Guardian rune.

His shadow grew short
As the boat crested waves in the dusk,
Crossed the horizon.

Behind him, the Land
And the Folk, and the Druids he'd cursed
Watched as he left.

And yet, he returns,
Every year, cause for drinking, for dance,
An icon of Ireland.

It's an irony, this.
When you think how the things that he cursed
Now flourish, reborn.

The Druids still live,
All the Gods celebrated by Pagans,
Immrama still dreamt.

And Lá Fhéile Pádraig,
A holiday marking his coming
But not about God.

So, raise him a glass,
This man, who in bringing a curse
Brought "Erin go bragh!"

A chance to be proud
Of our Land, of our kith, of ourselves.
Just hear the Snakes laugh.

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