As we journey through Mary’s Month of May, we continue our series of Marian poems, this week featuring Walsingham by Edmund Matyjaszek of Ryde…
Like a buried jewel, its gleam hidden
In the stones and pebbles, chips of flint,
But there, irridescent, flashing
Sunlight off its side to glint the air
Lies the chapel’s stone and glass. Nearby
Are houses, dark dusty sheds, a farm, a church,
A munching horse untethered out to grass,
Winding roads, high hedges, fields of corn,
The harvest in, bales of hay heaped high
While clouds of busy midges settle
Thickly in a haze above the stream.
They have come this way since before the Norman
Clamped down castle and cathedral
To lay a feudal grid across the land
And honoured a Saxon queen and child,
An English emblem,
Buried in the Norfolk countryside.
Now they come
With ordinary faces, tired and worn,
At weekends, at holidays, on special feasts,
To offer up and pray for things at home
For needs, for friends, for relatives, for some
Relief from suffering, for the daily round
And more. A pilgrimage is just a prayer
Set in motion, a journey
Made different by intent.
The chapel consecrates
The motive and the act with grace unseen
And unsuspected, while its buried beauty,
Half-hidden in the long and lazy lane,
Reflects the sun and makes the day blaze bright.