heaven i knew

This week’s poem, for me, highlights the dangers of absolute thinking.

The poem alludes to many characters from Irish mythology, folklore, and history – the Fianna, Oisín, Niamh, and St. Patrick.

Google the story of Oisín & Niamh in Tír na nÓg, the land of gods and eternal youth (aka heaven). Or of the legendary debate between Oisín and St Patrick over the definition of heaven. Great reads!

These stories lead to the theme of absolute thinking. The pagan, Oisín, has a clear, experiential notion of heaven. Whereas the Roman priest, now known as St. Patrick, has a more faith-based view.

Both men think absolutely of their own version of heaven. And the unrepentant Oisín goes to his grave the ever-indomitable Celtic spirit, rejecting Patrick’s heaven.

Lots of fodder for dialogue here. How relevant is it today when opinions have become absolute facts? What is truth? How does our own absolute thinking or intransigence help/hurt our lives? What is the impact on society?

Please share what you think/feel in the Comments section below.

-PS Conway ☘ ☘ ☘

☘ ☘ ☘ ☘ ☘

heaven i knew

the day i returned from heaven,

i aged three hundred years, hapless

warrior poet, blind but for

the image of you, my goddess,

seared into my mind’s eye, how could

i ever forget your ageless

beauty, you in that soft blue dress

that twinkled like the stars, under

a canopy of trees dripping 

with honey, holding me in your

hallowed gaze, i knew love and peace,

joyful grace and serenity;

now a helpless old man, under

duress to confess my life as

sin to this foreign priest who tends

to me in my twilight, who despite

his kindness, sings to me of hell

and its fiery lakes which await

me, and i sing to him my oath

that i welcome that fate to kill

his devil and gather the souls

who refuse to bow to his god,

forge a new Fianna, recreate

the heaven i knew in your arms.

10 comments

  1. Oh, WOW, Patrick. I love your question, “How does our own absolute thinking or intransigence help/hurt our lives? “Two hearts
    Open minds and a willingness to truly listen without prejudice are rare things these days. “truth does not belong to the one that shouts the loudest.

  2. Patrick, I really enjoyed this! Beautiful language and imagery. I like the idea that the poet warrior was willing to fight the Devil himself for the chance to create his own version of heaven. Now that’s imagination, creativity and bravery!
    Be stellar!
    Matthew Cross

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