Posted by: Peadar Ban | December 26, 2011


These last few weeks have been a weary trial
But they must be gotten through.   Is that not life?
Something I never asked for, nor its rules,
Its simple joys, complicated wars, strife,
Sunrise on a spring morning and disease
Slowly boring holes in everything I
Thought was sound and sturdy…me… until recently
Able to chop wood, climb stairs with great ease
And not feel any pain at all in bed;
To recall what’s now trapped inside my head.

Snow is falling, neighbors just now leaving
For Grandma’s house over the hills and through
The woods, bringing kids and gifts, believing
This is all they will really need to do
To receive their share of Christmas spirit:
Show up, open gifts and eat.  Say goodbye
When the game’s over.  “Goodbye, Grandma.  Great
To see you.  So, long Uncle Pat, Auntie Vi.
It’s a long way home.”  It is a long way
Home I tell myself every single day.

I think of those two ancient travelers
Who walked from their home through cold bitter nights
Along stony sheep tracks winding raw hills
Where shepherds sleep, their tiny fires’ light
Faint across the high plains, crossed frigid rills
Tumbling down rock and ridge, cold, hungry
And worried about the one they carry
With them.  None waited for them to arrive
Warmly smiling welcome from off their way
None except rude animals, beasts, alive
To serve and work from day, to day, to day.

Myself become an ancient traveler
Along narrow winding paths in strange lands,
Faint stars and far horizons far less than
Comfort as I go along unchanging keep
Their cold distance beautiful but so deep,
Unreachable I think, unsearchable
Too no matter how one frames the question
On every mind, I silent, stumble,
Occasionally fall, my way along
Towards home with this thought growing:
I carry Him who walks with me going.



  1. a good one…life has so many twists and turns,
    thank God that He understands and stays with us.

    • Thank you, Rose-Marie. And, yes…in the end gratitude…for everything.

  2. For more than one reason, I feel this one, Peter, in the cells of my own flesh and blood. Thank you is a small blunt expression for the tears on my cheeks. Bless you, friend.

    • You are very welcome, Alys. May God bless you, too.


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