Monday, June 28, 2021

Paul Murray

Paul Murray is a Dominican priest and poet. He grew up at the foot of the Mountains of Mourne in Northern Ireland, in a house facing the sea. He has lived in Rome since 1994, where he teaches the literature of the mystical tradition ― Catherine of Siena, and John of the Cross, as well as Thomas Aquinas ― at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (a.k.a. The Angelicum).

Murray has written more than a dozen books, besides his poetry titles. Two of his poetry books, The Absent Fountain, and These Black Stars (both published by Dedalus Press) have been combined into the single volume, Stones and Stars (2013). His new collection Moling in Meditation: A Psalter for an Early Irish Monk will be published this year from St. Augustine's Press.

The following poem is from the special issue of Poetry Ireland Review (#112 Name And Nature: ‘Who Do You Say That I Am’) which was edited by John F. Deane.

O Merciful One

When without hope, without aim,
we find ourselves turning and turning
on the outermost rim
of the circumference of our own lives ―

When our hearts are cold, our minds
no longer open to the conviction
of the unseen
or to the sources of that conviction ―

When words which were fiery
once, electrifying the mind and heart,
now seem but a mimicry of
flame, a dazzle of frozen sparks,

burn us with your fire of truth,
with your flame of love.

Posted with permission of the poet.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. His latest poetry collection is Ampersand (2018, Cascade). His books are available through Amazon, and Wipf & Stock, including the anthologies The Turning Aside, and Adam, Eve, & the Riders of the Apocalypse.