Pilgrimpace's Blog

delayed by rough seas
September 21, 2016, 5:03 pm
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One advantage of leaving Whitland Abbey on the train rather than foot was that I was able to buy a copy of Delayed by Rough Seas by David Hodges, one of the brothers from Caldey.  I am really enjoying this poetry collection and discovering Father David’s voice.  There are some fine poems in it which I will go back to – well worth reading, his collections are available here.


I am, of course, reflecting on what it means to be sitting here, to be delayed by the rough seas of my knee.  I am pulling together questions and insights, which I’ll have a go at sharing in due course.

I have the luxury of space to write and think


The title poem of David Hodges collection speaks to me a lot at the moment.  I hope it is OK to share it here:

Delayed by Rough Seas

The Celtic, pilgrim, sailor saints

set out to find the promised land

in open boats

of skins stretched out on wood:

the Cross and just themselves

was all they carried.

Carrying within their hearts

the God they sought;

exiles for the love of Christ,

they hoped to reach their true home.

Mystics, no longer longing for

an earthly homeland but for

that unattainable other world,

mythical island, Land of Promise, hidden

beyond the vastness of the sea.

Speaking the universal language

of Christ’s love,

birds, all nature, joining

in their psalms and chanting,

singing praise to their creator God.

Hunger and thirst they knew,

knowing heaven’s fullness.

Their sails full set and flying

through the sacramental sea,

or becalmed and drifting,

shipping oars and trusting

to the providence of God.

Sailing by the stars,

encountering demons,

storms without, within;

what was important was the journey,

delayed by God to teach them secrets

of the ocean, their inner lives.

Fearless they braved the angry sea

but still they feared the final journey

we all must travel to God’s presence,

into the dark unknown, alone.


the promise of a rainbow from Caldey looking at Tenby



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