Rogation-tide Blessings

Sunlit spider webs catch a detaching retina

Netting the midges dashing

Over canalised streams coursing

Through mowed lawns and meadows.


Rhubarb ripens from the bitterness of winter,

Red currants blossom for summer jams,

Strawberries flower for Wimbledon

Chasing another championship.


The pruned vine bursts in spring shoots

Of new life and expectant fruit

For the table of the world

To which we're called and where we serve.


Hard-headed cabbages fresh from abbey garden

And not from a supermarket shelf

Cluster concentrated fibre to feed

Aproned housewives and sun-tanned farmers.


Rabbits scatter from sacerdotal sprinkling

Urging chastity and self-control

In the peaceful coexistence of nature

Drawn together in a sign of peace under apple blossom.


Kentish bees circulate friendships,

Hens celebrate fresh production,

The rooster claims the sovereignty

Of an ascended lord, embodying unity.


Clouds float serenely through scattered sunshine

Opening the gaze to things above

For Benedictines habited black

Concentrating the mind to earth.


Spluttering incense clouds the barn altar,

African melody prompts true alleluia praise,

A new poem is dedicated from failure up

And the rehab farm is condensed into blessing.


St Mary's Abbey

Rogation Day and Ascension Day

5 May 2005


Note the attempt to demonstrate themes of: simplicity, earthiness and concentration throughout.

A poem - From Failure Up, by Patrick Kavanagh dedicated on the barn altar for the Malling Pilsdon Farm attached to the abbey.