“Skellig Michael,” Irish Coast, Wikipedia.

Part 2: Gospel Fragments

Charity of Irish farming families, bread,
Potatoes, honey, rowing boat to monastery
At Skellig Mhór, scudding clouds, pulling
Against rolling whitecaps, Father Tristan’s
Magdalene Gospel translations bound inside
His dark cloak. Several days running, little
Sleep, Father’s death, all this tumbling upon
Me, I, Sister Muriel, found solace, my turn
Back-straining at the oars. How I felt open
Boat struggling against waves represented
My life, perseverance required reaching
Distant rocky shores.

Burdens carried towering heights, each step
Soulful prayer, like Father Tristan, I fell at
Feet of Father Blàthan, physical, emotional
Exhaustion. He recognized Tristan’s crucifix,
Relieved, saddened at my account, sharing
How Tristan’s body was frail-thin, his cloak
Worn, clothes in tatters, leather boots padded
Inside with rags. In silence, he studied trans-
Lation, offering, “Two fragments are known
To exist, one in my possession, now Tristan’s,
We believe most of Mary Magladene’s gospel
Was lost, destroyed, yet to be discovered.”

Buried urns, crumbling Egyptian temple walls,
Papyri scrolls containing verses in Greek, in
Coptic, what secrets did Fathers Tristan and
Blàthan know of Mary Magdalene, translations
To compare, swept up in controversy? “We
Must read beyond single lines of verse,”
Father Blàthan offered, understand why
Magdalene felt Christ’s crucifixion was not
Necessary for salvation. “Her love of Christ,
However, however defined, provided Mary
Insight, visions, not afforded to the twelve,”
Father Blàthan surmised.

“The Annunciation,” Carl Bloch, WikiArt.

“I feared not crucifixion,” Mary stated in
Greek, “Better part of me was killed, Savior’s
Love, his spirit, protects those who teach,
Perform miracles in his name.” “What does
It mean?” I asked, searching father’s face
For clarification. “Muriel, some beleive
Mary was more spiritual than disciples.
With death of Christ, she lived with great
Pain, suffering she focused on ethereal,
Mystical visions, Christianity transcending
What is taught, certainly understood, or
agreed upon.” Hearing that, in silent
Solitude, I wept and prayed.

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