Mass Rock Carndonagh Donegal Ireland
Donagh Mass Rock, Carndonagh, Donegal


Places of worship stand bereft ~
naked without the clothing
of their congregations.
Cathedrals, churches, chapels, temples,
meeting-houses, masjids, and mosques
are all empty.

Lone priests celebrate mass ~
offering a solitary communion
to hymns of whispering dust.
The Angelus bells are mute~
humbled by the benediction
of the silent streets
as the people stay home
to protect each other.

In Ireland, the chapels have been empty before ~
pilgrim-paths overgrown
without the feet of the faithful to tend them,
and the dead buried without custom.

The Mass Rocks are still standing.
The wildflowers are still blooming.
The ocean still crashes
at the feet of Sliabh Liag
and its waves continue to make
sacred communion
with our shores.

First published in the Community Arts Partnership Anthology Heartland, 2022

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