The Wardens of Skellig

The Audio Version

Communing with gannets, puffins and skuas,

Amid ghostly ranks of long-departed monks

And temptress selkies rising from the sea,

The Wardens of Skellig

Have much to talk about and ponder

But only to themselves.

Muttering for want of an ear to listen,

Listening for want of a voice to hear.

Beached on this desolate isle

There is time to consider

The chains that bind you,

Both lofty and mundane,

Chains you wish to cast off

Or to resolve, or to dissolve,

Or, in the end, to endure.

Others come by choice or chance

Having sought it out,

Solitude being in their nature.

If you come seeking fulfillment,

Then you might be filled.

If you come seeking atonement,

That too may be found.

If you come seeking peace,

There is that too in abundance.

But you must be prepared to accept it

Amid the incessant noise.

The qualities that make the prospect alluring

Also make it fearsome.

It is barren, wild, desolate and storm-tossed

Save for colonies of seabirds

Crowding shore and rugged cliffs,

Jostling to protect their brood,

Crying their defiance.

Salt sea air whipped into a frenzy

And hurled against the ragged rocks

The sky above

The sea below

Trapped here for a time

Between them both.

On the outer reaches of Erin’s coast

Lies a mountain tossed by giants

From her western shore,

Set to scuttle wayward ships

Bound for Western Approaches

And blind to Skellig’s warning eye.

The Wardens of Skellig Michael

Attend this desolate treasure,

Now host to tourist trade, the merely curious

And swarms of eager birders.

It calls to a certain character

Of solitary bent and inward gaze.

Perhaps it is perversity or novelty

That lures some to this place.

Or having spent a lifetime

Drowning in worldly chaos

The simple desire for focus

Draws one to this solitary rock.

However they have come,

For unknown centuries

The Wardens of Skellig Michael

Have stood alone

Attending their charge.

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This has been a Piperguy48 production
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