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Monday, 24 January 2011

poem for St Brigit's day

for St Brigit’s day and Candlemas
Tessa Ransford (2011)

I open myself to the angels of healing
the greater or lesser, the arch or hermetic
wherever they may appear
with therapies or with silences
yet unsurely believable:
Gabriel, Michael, Raphael
who companioned Tobias
or whichever may be supposed
my guardian, a little Indian goddess?
Or shall I call Bride, our own goddess
of fire and light, of children and hearth
of kindness and practicality?

Angels know the world changes
all the time anyway and nothing
they do can change the endless

Are these the angels of healing who
pick up the broken bodies of those
they love and of strangers; Red Cross
workers, midwives and nurses,
Médecins sans Frontières;
bomb disposal experts, and those
who comfort the children, who gather
the minds and rejected feelings of all
who have tried to save and heal but have
been bereaved of hope?

Bride as midwife we pray you will
bring to birth
the light of the turning year
and assist the gestation of animals
plants and minerals,
riding the surf with your flock
of red-billed oyster catchers.

We pray you will
bear the child of the year in your arms
and, despite the anger that rages on,
we pray you will feed it the milk of human kindness
gathered where you may
out-poured where you can,
as you quietly allowed the Celtic church -
its hermits and insular saints
and we who humbly and blindly follow -
to change your flame from goddess to saint
your name to Brigit and to
number ourselves in your company.

I open myself to the angels of healing
and welcome the longed-for mother,
sister or nurse, in all manifestations,
her smile, her capable hands.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful, and uplifting. Apparently, so I read, in the Celtic calander the whole of February was celebrated as St. Brigit's month and was very much to do with healing love, heart love, as new growth stirs and sap begins to rise.