Patricia Monaghan

About Place Journal 2015 aboutplacejournal.org
Patricia Monaghan
 
Dawn at Brigit’s Well
 
In hope, in pain, in song we passed the night.
We have kept watch—kept faith—each in our own way.
Our long dark vigil ends in spring’s mild light.
 
We ended winter with this ancient rite,
Strangers until we joined our hands to pray.
In hope, in pain, in song we passed the night.
 
Beside the guttering candles, a single white
Snowdrop nods to greet St. Brigit’s day.
A long dark vigil ends in spring’s mild light.
 
So much is wrong, across the world: we fight
Each other, blight the land, betray
Our hopes. In plaintive song we passed the night.
 
Yet we believe and pray, acolytes
In service to a change too long delayed.
Our long dark vigil ends in spring’s mild light
 
And we rise, renewed. Such ritual ignites
The fire in our souls. It’s a new day.
In hope, in pain, in song we passed the night
The long dark vigil ends in spring’s mild light.
 
 
 
Patricia Monaghan (1946-2012) was the co-founder of the Black Earth Institute along with husband Michael McDermott. Patricia was a poet, scholar, spiritual path-breaker, educator, and activist. Her connections to Ireland were a large part of her life and inspired several books written or edited. Her scholarship produced definitive books on goddesses of the world. Awards included a Pushcart Prize and a Chicago Humanities Festival Fellowship, this last to produce for the festival a full theatrical version of her Mad Sweeney driven to this by war and healed by nature. She lived at Brigit Rest, the home of the Black Earth Institute with gardens, a vineyard, orchard and tree circle of old Celtic Ogham alphabet.
 

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