Friday, April 20, 2007

Beannachd Dia dhuit

Beannacht ("Blessing") by John O’Donohue

On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.

And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow wind
work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak to mind your life.


  1. Wow, love that! I need to hear it now.


  2. Thanks Jen!
    I first saw it at jonny baker's.

    It expresses the prayer of my heart for a friend this last week.

    Lighting candles inside a church or a cathederal, letting the smoke rise and mix in the air, seep into the fibers and crevices with all the prayers of people who have stood there before me doing the same thing, became a meaningful act to me while I was in Europe.
    I like knowing that flame will continue as a symbol of my prayer even after I’ve physically left the building.

    Where I live now, it’s difficult to find places that are open to the public and where you’re allowed to leave lit candles burning. Last night, I missed living in London where I could just go downstairs, walk to the corner and go into the parish church.

    Then I remembered this shot from inside Norte Dame, Paris.

    Adding that shot to this particular writing, which has become so special this week, was a way to mix my prayer in with those of the others who care about my friend and let it remain even when I’m not physically present.

  3. Great poem! :)

  4. a poem, like a person, speaks to people in different ways. This selection's second stanza whispered great hope to me and encouraged my heart.

    thanks for placing it where it could be heard.