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Make me an island, set apart

by Poet in Residence, Julia McGuinness

Unspoken answer to his prayers,
he walked ground, level as his gaze

at grey distance of North Sea rapt
in white dawn, where God wept

silent kindness through dry bones.
Coasted soul, he watched alone,

unflinching through waves’ kiss
on cold toes, ghosted by mist

till ocean drew in breath
to open the mainland path.

He strode into the moment,
trod faith’s causeway,

to woo strangers for God,
his soft Irish cadence as odd

to them as his sparse frame
so radiant with calm.

They stood, tree-still on earth,
as he spoke of new birth

grace of God-lapped shores
to circle rough-faced moor,

Gentleness, his byway
to open up Love’s mystery.

His driftwood words nudged
their indifferent souls, cradled

back and forth with the tide,
nearness, otherness of God.

Later their eyes yearned east
for Lindisfarne, for holiness.