Montserrat Poem

Montserrat Poem


his sword glittered on the altar

like an abandoned road.

He knew the darkness shift around

outside and inside.

His wounds made kneeling

as painful as walking:

he knelt all night long.



For pilgrims (always limping),

strolling, walking, running

are exercises in love, in prayer.


High on her golden throne the dark lady

smiled and did not smile.

Her majestic child raised his hands to bless

all night long

whatever the soldier had to offer.


Outside the mountain glittered

like a serrated sword.

At dawn the sun was red

with the blood of his friends following

the way that was and was not his own,

and the chanted music moved

like a journey

uphill and downhill all night long.



Stripped of possessions and home,

a pilgrim can only travel light.

Grace and a pilgrim’s staff take your weight.


Andrew Bullen SJ

Ignatius the Pilgrim – Poems for Prayer, 2013