Old Ground


I made an ink blot

Eleven years old

On the opening page

Father Parker’s history book

And the Ziggurat of Ur

And Father Mythen’s languages

Latin Greek and French

An ancient world was opened up to me


The pity was

The world I knew was barred to me

Off limits

Seminary shunned that world away

We lived religious rituals

Within our walled off school

The very idea of training priests

A madness anyway


And off to further strictness

Remoteness in Kinnoull

Majestic house

High up upon a hill

A year spent there

At eighteen years

A nursery for prayer

But growing up?

Not a chance

Rarefied thin air


Took sacred vows

I ask you

Give your life away

Off to Hawkstone

Arctic countryside

Six years in fields

A country house

Never saw a soul

Black robed seminarians

Programmed rigmarole


The boy who made that ink blot

Just away from home

Came out at 24

And that little boy went home

To see again his family

Say hello unto the world

Where have I been?

What did they do?

How come so much has changed?


I gave a way my freedom

Gave away my will

They said it was a holy thing to do

But they robbed me of my engine

My power to give and go

I got it back eventually

A story you all know


Always question systems

Someone put them there

Thought them good

Endorsed their probity

But systems caused the Holocaust

The Slave Trade and much more

And the Church had holy systems

Which I name now and deplore


Brian Fahy

28 October 2021

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