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

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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.