For the Turning of the Year

There is a poetic tradition coming out of ancient Ireland called the breastplate prayer. The breastplate prayer calls upon the powers of the universe, the natural world and the human experience as a breastplate, as a protection, as a courage for moving fully into life. I love playing with this kind of poetry and the wonders of nature, and I try and write one at least once a year around this time. I’ve written this one for the end of one year and the beginning of a new one by focusing on three aspects of our world: the three realms of sky, sea and earth, and what were known in Indo-European cultures as “the nine elements” which paralleled cosmic and natural energies with the human body. 

I arise today through a mighty strength

The power of sky, sea and earth.

Sun in my face,

Sky overhead

Clarity in my brain.

Wind in my breath,

Salt in my blood,

Moon reflecting in my mind.

Trees like my hair,

Stones like my bones,

Earth shaping my fleshy self.

No separate things

Move in this space.

No single things

Left all alone.

Stars in stones

Water in clouds

Explosions of galaxies in every breath.

Let the darkness fill the flame.

Let light surround the dark.

Let sound fill up the silence.

Let silence proclaim the song. 

Let rivers soften the stones.

Let stones shape the waves.

Let winds tenderize the earth.

Let earth make the wind dance.

Let sun’s light shine on the moon.

Let moon bring shadow to the sun.

Let the All be in everything

And everything become the All

This day.

I arise today through a mighty strength,

The moving of sky and earth and sea.

The space in the place

The silence moving sound

The dance singing the song.

And all is well.  All is well. All things in all things will be well.

~Bob Patrick

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2 Responses to For the Turning of the Year

  1. Lydia M Patrick says:

    So much power in these words! I need to be reminded- Thanks for sharing

  2. katrina yurko says:

    Had to read this a few times before I could grasp the immensity of these words. They’re so much more than words.’ perhaps there is even more power between the lines. I’ll have to read it again!

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