My boat and my body
are ready.

There are currents calling
from the deep sea,
singing from the crest
of the running wave.

I have left
the hearth of home,
turned my back
on the place of shelter.

The ocean is my mother,
the flowing air my father
and I will ride
the calms and storms.

I am surrendered
to the turning tide,
I am directed
by the untamed wind.

They are the breath
and breast of God.

(Notes – the peregrini were Celtic monks who undertook a kind of pilgrimage or peregrinatio on the sea where the purpose wasn’t the destination but the voyage.  It was about the inner journey, about finding the wilderness in the ocean, to be alone without normal supports so that God could fill every moment of their day.  And it was about exile – leaving their homeland (usually Ireland) voluntarily out of love for God and allowing the winds and currents to bear them where they would, abandoning themselves to the mercy and providence of God.  The currach is similar to a coracle, a boat made of hide stretched over a wooden frame, but bigger.)

The Dark

In the dark
there is a gift
I might have missed
in the bright of day.

Highly strung

The wind is skeeting the tired tide,
the slow surface of low waves,
blowing it away from shore
in fast running sheets like hidden shoals
escaping the shallowing land.


I am not chained to shore
but floating free on your surface,
tethered by your tide,
the sun licking my face,
the salt buoying me up
with the swell of your laughter.


The sunlight falls,
flickers off leaves and fronds
of fern,
weaves patterns in the hedgerows
that guard the garden,
tumbles and teases the edges of shade,
the glade alight with it,
hugging the watching trees
that are icons,
the grass between a prayer mat.
I sit and soak in the sun