Voyages from I to Thou.

Location: Skellig Michel, Ireland

Monday, February 21, 2005

Gloss and Trope (2004)

Abbot of churches which
a great wave reaches ...

-- 11th Century gloss on a
line from the Amram Columba

One root of Oran’s name
is Gaelic auran, or song

That’s the poet, sitting here
at 4:30 am between the 21st
century and the fourth,
settling down into the great
sleepy dark where breezes
fan a chorus of drowned trees.
He how dips his head
in water and returns singing,
his tropes cleansed and
freshened by immaculate
blue. Each dive presents
a daily varied view, some
turn of the topic a few
degrees toward the moon
as it molts across the sky:
and so the crannog is my
aquae aerie, the shape of
accumulate song, the
action itself of riding
the great sea horse of God
inside and under the waves’
sparkling plain which
covers Your mouth.
Today it occurs to me
that the crannog is a
grave-marker for a
martyr sown into the blue,
a soul tree which fruits
all I let go. Recently I
cut the throat of Your well:
Hit the delete key three times
and all that blue bother
was gone, from cyberspace
I mean, that visible (though
seldom visited) face of an
invisible swell and thrall
released back to the dark
waters from where You came.
Nothing of it remains
but the cathedralling
shape of this crannog,
its roots gripped deep in
a silence which once
sang louder than the wildest
booming wave I still ride
on; bell-shape I once rang
like a monk tolling matins
is that door to the lowest
porch below, down
with the denizens of dream
who guard the vaults
of Her preterite gleam.
Song is the Oran
Oran bid me bury here
which walks in dark ways
for three nights here
whose face buoys up
in blue waters found here
like the bog-man buried
throat-slashed smiling here
between moon and mere:
Abbot of the hundred
churches this crannog
supports, apple-isles like
Your fingertips poking
just above a calmed sea.
Angel of the mouth
that just won’t stop
singing, chalice and
baptize me in the next
gloss, the next wave’s
wilder ringing.


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