“Virgin Mary,” Joaquin Sorolla, 1887, WikiArt.

Part 1: Spiritual Awakening

Austere islands, rocky shores, single Norse
Longboat landed on Streymoy Ilse of Faeroes,
Shepherd and fisher folk greeting us, grave
Concerns in faces, voices. Sickness across
These islands, fevers, chills, like seen in
Ireland, no remedies except strength to
Live, to unfortunates, death came in pained
Agonies. On these shores, I, Sister Muriel,
Prayed, Norsemen followed suit, as did Betrys,
And our able sea-sister, Ágausta of Streymoy.

First village visited, Kirkjubøur, weight of
Sorrows heart hard-struck, children, elderly
Dying, some whilst being fed or bathed.
Panicked I felt by miseries beset on island
Clans, their labours in vain, from stone hut,
Smoke-smoldering fires, I walked away,
Fresh-air seeking. “I cannot do this,” I
Admitted. “Have you seen meager medicine
Chest? Fraction of herbs, roots, we need,
On death isles we have landed.”

By shoulders Betrys grasp me, deep eyes
Peering, “Sister, do you believe this is real?
Have you no memories of fiord drowning?
Younger Ágausta, warring shieldmaiden?”
Wave of hand, my mind opened, gazed
Into sunlit opalescence clouds. Memories:
Visions of Mary, Father Blàthan at Skellig
Mhór, arrows falling at our feet, Norsemen
Absconding us to Norway fiords, drowning
Death, awakening on far north Albion isles.

“Raised from dead we were, living now within
Elaborate magic spell. Do you feel ocean
Roaring, wind on your face?” Yes, pounding
Ocean surf, I felt marrow-deep, cold wind,
Gentle embrace, lichen-covered boulders,
I felt ancient epochs beneath my feet. “We
Are beyond ourselves,” I realized, mystical,
Spiritual awakening, Thoughts of Christ’s
Resurrection, twin sisters on sea voyage,
Pur Faeroe Island calling. How much
Closer to God could we be?

“Sick Pilgrim,” Ferdinand Waldmüller, 1859, WikiArt.

Son in arms, Faeroe mother sought us on
Grassy bank, my hood pulled back, rosary
Hand-clutched. “I know not your religion,
Man upon cross.” Lo! My pagan sister,
Betrys face revealed, hair shells, beads
Adorned, Druid blue paint upon her cheeks.
Mother’s faced brightened, of Betrys said,
“Priestess, save my child, lest he dies this
Day.” Christianity unknown, lessons learnt
In faith, acceptance, many approached,
Families in fevered sickness, dire needs.

Continuation of the earlier “Faeroe Island” series, this new Sister Muriel poetry is more
mystical and s
piritual with two emerging story-lines. Thanks for reading. 

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