Advent, the Fourth Day: Isle of Jura, 16 Year Old (“Diurachs’ Own”)

virtus adiuvaret infirmos.

Along the coast a storm is threading thunder –
Each weaving wave a lunging, ruined spire.
And even God’s forsaken stare to wonder
How Jura Isle, bogged with blanket mire,
Became the staging site for St. Columba –
His target clear as Skye – the peat’s penumbra
Of tonsured moss on lush Iona’s head.
From quartzite paps, this other yields instead
On Advent’s Fourth – a fighting ounce of liquor
To argue bargains such as canny caird
And gumption’s laird could make to heel a horde
That Herod gallops hard against the wicker,
Its thatching straw that tops a harrowed barn
Enough to shield a wee and hallowed bairn.


  1. If you offer a poem for every day of advent, we may need to create a prize for you (say, the Korrektiv ANobel Prize for Literature)….

    Now I’m going to have to come back here and check on things. 🙂

  2. Actually, I get my prize (one dram at a time) as part of the deal for writing the poems.


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