The Crawfordsburning

A photo of stained glass windows at Crawfordsburn Inn, N. Ireland for the poem The Crawfordsburning - by Angela Josephine

For 5 days in October, a band of philosophers and poets, mystics and misfits, theologians and thespians alike (and not so) descended upon a Northern Ireland inn for an event hosted by Peter Rollins – One Day we Might Live: The Land, Life and Legacy of C.S. Lewis. It was an experience that defies description – one that you want to share with people, but loses something in the retelling. Here is an attempt by me, in the form of a poem. I’m hoping that those of you not present may glean something, even if through a glass darkly. I’d be interested to know – what does it mean to you?

The lofty tree has fallen in
a copse by the sea.
It has fallen and been chopped
into burnable pieces
that spark to flame
with the friction.
The walls of cellulose breach,
bursting and snapping
deconstructing and reconstructing
(oxygen and hydrogen to water)
with the compression and expansion
of the bellows,
these prayers
and confessions
that feed the fire
on the way to naming
our truth.
And there is light.
Incandescence which
a man once-blind launches toward
colliding with a grizzly
on the way in,
the way deep into
mystery
and discovery
and our old friend, death.
Love’s pursuit.
We follow,
taken with it
to the volatile ignition of
our soul, leaving behind
the char
that is self.
We rise from the ash
of our convictions,
yearning.
And we leave
Crawfordsburn-ing
with our lack
that today
we might live.