Saturday, April 7, 2012


Good Friday and Christmas Night; my religious belief was so strong that I expected something to happen. I expected the word to become, if not flesh, spectre. In driving homecatholic beliefs, we were made more aware of the personalities than the teachings. The gospel stories were vivid in our minds and almost on equal billing were the Lourdes and Fatima apparitions. There was always the threat of divine intervention: punishments at worst, but at the very least, dire warnings complete with revolving spectral solar displays.

The significance of these two days in particular, the sorry state of the world - the treat of a third world war was palpablein the Cold War years of the sixties, I remember a Christian Brother telling us in 1967 that we probably wouldn’t survive the year – made an apparition a fairly likely occurrence. Our upbringing was strongly religious, that put me on the front line for a visitation.

The Dread of an Apparition

The most effective means
of avoiding a death fright
by apparition
might have been my blanket
but for the thinness of its cover
and the need to obey
Heaven's commands
which do not stop at blankets.
The problem was Mary's
predilection for teens
and my undoubted piety.
Therefore I can say
without any hesitation,
my earliest plans to reject
Catholicism - thereby
putting myselfsafely
beyond the fence -
were due to apparitions;
their lightning
and ghastly messages.

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