That bloody monk

Stephen Chinnock

4 April 2020

That monk on the mountain
In his austere monastery
Has suddenly become
A dear friend
Welcomed and respected
Keeping me company

He’s an icon
Of the quiet dark night
Divine introspection
Solitude accepted
Never questioned
Old knees
On the cold stone floor

He’ll be up at dawn
After prayers
Into the wondrous
Garden of herbs
Nourishing all living things
Collecting plants
To make concoctions
To keep the plague away

I envy him
For his preparedness
To live in that lonely zone
Suddenly thrust
Upon all of us

What can I learn
From this learned man
Strength of heart
Determination not to give in
In times of contagion
He’s certainly wrapped up
In a steely sheet
Of protection
Against hard times

If I follow his ways
I’ll have bloody sore knees
But I’ll follow him
Into the garden
Nurture my herbs
And potted trees
Hoping that one day
I can take him some produce
To say thanks
For the company
And guidance!