Wednesday, June 9, 2021

SCOTLAND'S SAINT

 

The Message

 

 Once forgetting who he worked for

Columba found out the hard way

not to cross his employer’s plans

for Scotland.

 

He found out too that

beautiful accommodates ruthless

the angel appearing not as

the expected cherub but

 

an SS Sturmscharf├╝hrer with Iron Cross

and Gold Oak Leaves

an angelic enforcer who lashed

the miscreant saint for three solid days

 

the brothers could hear the whipping

and cries inside the saint’s hut but

daren’t interfere for fear that

the holy hit man might ask:

 

D’ye want tae try some as well, Son?

 

And find themselves going to vespers

with their face in a towel.

 

Columba bore these scars

for life and carried the

experience into his dealings

with recalcitrant Scottish kings

 

When asking, Don’t you think

that in all the lands of the world,

God couldn’t find another king

for your people?

 

It was hardly a question and

the kings, taking note of the holy man's

scarred back, knew this was a god 

with a message they could appreciate;

 

My way or the highway!

Perhaps, seeing in the mind’s eye,

the downstairs accommodation

and God’s war band waiting


beyond the palisade

with whips and heated tongs

they took the baptism

for Scotland’s sake.


Today, the 9th June, is the day of Columba's earthly death in 597 on Iona, after a long life of converting pagans, curing the sick, banishing demons and other still enjoyed benefits of his blessings. This little poem is written in gratitude for the protection our nation's saint has provided (as promised) to us. It seems to be working – after all, we're still here, while better appointed others have long took the road to oblivion. The poem is actually from a little book, Epiphany in Azure, which you can download free if you click on the Big Ride link.


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