An Irish Poem of Blessing

Ireland at twilight

Happy St. Patricks Day!  I like to celebrate every holiday, so I’ve got my plans for making bangers and mash for my family this evening.  But I thought I would start the day’s celebrations with a lovely poem of blessing by a wonderful Irish poet and philosopher, John O’Donahue.  He writes a lot about how being in nature helps us discover the best of ourselves.  So before we start on our Guinness, Jameson, and Baileys, try to spend some time outside appreciating the green in our lives and how it nurtures us.

Here are the words to the poem:

Beannacht (Blessing)– For Josie (his mother)

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 into 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.

And here is a video of the poet himself reading the work:

For more John O’Donahue inspiration, visit his website at: .




16 thoughts on “An Irish Poem of Blessing

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