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Patrick's Return

I sensed at once the yearning for release.
March mists dispelled the coloured countryside
And hung in curdled webs from ragged trees.

Soft rain soaked fields of stationary bulls
Where gangs of crows were cackling like the druids
Who came to curse me, clacking jaws of skulls.

I sensed the people crying out in sin;
The eyes of severed heads still globed their hell
Of blood and fire, gluttony and drink.

My prayers were sucked from me and overnight
God's love descended like a snowfall.
The blackthorns opened up their petalled light

And everywhere I tapped my staff, my wand,
The fields and trees leapt up to green the land.

James Harpur

'Patrick's Return' appears in The Dark Age by James Harpur published by Anvil Press Poetry.