Santiago de Compostela

She drew me out from inner darkness,
told me to rise and walk.
“But first,” she said, “your wounds.”

She washed them in laughter,
dried them with her smile.

I left that night
walking west beneath the stars
to where the red sun
dips beneath the horizon.
South I wended my way,
where winds are warmer.

Hope flowered anew each day.
Dew on the morning grass
gifted both food and water.
Birdsong raised its morning voice
to the creator and her creation.

Sunlight flooded my body.
It flowed out through my heart,
a beacon to light my way.

At night, when star song
brightened the owl’s path,
I saw my road
stretched high above me.

Pilgrim through once barren lands,
the light she lit for me
burns within me still.

 Rain, sleet, snow, ice, fire:
they’re all the same.
No lion shall me fright.
I’ll with a giant fight.

“Constant,” she said to me.
“Come wind, come weather.”

14 thoughts on “Pilgrim

  1. The morning hymn singing in school comes back to me when I read this.
    ‘I am weak, but thou art mighty,’

    “i’ll wi..th a gia…nt fight, but I will ha…ave th..e right to be a pilgrim.’ or words close to those. Too many years ago to be sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s exactly where the words come from and how the echoes (see comments below) work. They create a dialogue between now (the poem) and then (the memories and echoes). At least, that is what I hope is happening. For me this is inter-textuality: the dialogue of one set of texts with another. It’s getting to the stage where I should be adding some of these comments as notes to the poetic text!


  2. I loved this, Roger, especially the last six lines. “Constant” is a surprising and wonderful word in that line. btw, depending on how the election goes, I might make a pilgrimage to Canada and hide out with you and Clare for a while…Lol
    I have a bottle of wine ready, either way.😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • You would be more than welcome, Tanya. We have a large house with lots of rooms right out in the country. You’d love it here. I think ‘constant’ comes form John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. “He who would true valor see, let him come hither; one here will constant be, come wind, come weather.” This is one of the literary echoes that I love weaving into my poems. They open vast vistas and link me into an ongoing dialog with the past. I am so pleased you like it. I re-discovered it today. I wrote it back in the late 1970’s while walking the pilgrim road to Santiago de Compostela.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s been a long time since I’ve read Pilgrim’s Progress, but I do have it on my reading list.
        It was a great use of the word “constant” and really got me thinking.

        It’s good to know I have a place to flee…Lol! Thank you, my dear friend!

        Liked by 1 person

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