Morning, Pluscarden

The Rev. Dr. Paul McKeown

23 January 2014

Morning, Pluscarden

The day began without me;

dozing ‘til the prayer bell summoned us from sleep.

Dressed hastily against the cold, still unsure

if I would join the monks at Terce; creep

in quietly to the candled transept,

or seek God alone.

Hands thrust in pockets, I chose to keep

an earthy sort of vigil: went to stand


outside and tarry for the dawn.

Found a hard-silvered world beneath a shepherd eye.

Frostbound trees; tarmac stars glittering; the Abbey

cradling worship. Pater noster, thy

kingdom come. We watch and wait for it

in silence broken

only by a distant fox’s cry

and honking geese, drawn south to warmer lands.


Above, sister moon lingers;

loath to leave and miss the birthing of the day.

Together with the dawn, she weaves a mythic light

that falls, Edenic, on the valley;

blood red, as at the world’s beginning.

And I behold it

not like lonely Adam, fresh from clay,

but Eve, who woke

to wondering eyes and outstretched hand.


©Paul McKeown

Image  Morning Moon