Irish poet and philosopher John O’Donoghue was born in Co. Clare in 1956, He was ordained as a Catholic priest, but left the priesthood in the 1990s. He is probably best known, as author of Anam Cara or Soul Friend, a compendium of Celtic wisdom for the pilgrim soul. He passed away unexpectedly in early 2008. From Connemara Blues, this is:
By John O’Donoghue
Nothing can make the night stay outside,
It pours in everywhere, smothers my room
With black air prepared in some unseen cave,
Tightens around my skull the root silence
Of that room in rock; nothing broke the dark
Except the tick of raindrops from above;
Centuries seeping through the limestone
To point a cold finger of stalactite
At emptiness never softened by breath;
Where the sore of absence was never felt
In cold that fasted solid from light,
A hermit space that let in no question.
This dark is all eyes; but cannot feel
How it blackens the breath and the heart.
It weighs me down as it would a stone.