(Photo: View of An Sgurr, 2008 by Mike Garratt. Creative Commons)
He came from Erin: leaned on his bachail
and celebrated Holy Mysteries,
overlooking Poll nam Partan. His monks,
his muinntir, chanted psalms on Easter’s eve,
baa-ing with sheep, yet he had no shepherd –
no Anam Cara when the slaughter came.
The Queen of Moidart was not of his fold.
She roasted him in his refectory,
unwilling to respect the Lamb of God.
She took the lives of fifty brothers too,
to re-assert her power and grazing rights.
Strange lights flickered over the monks’ corpses
and lured her Pictish women up the slopes
to Sgurr of Eigg. At Loch nam Ban Mora,
luminescence lingered, tantalising
her warriors, who waded out and drowned.
Columba, you did not want to be-friend
one destined for red martyrdom and yet
The Northern Lights received him to glory;
his abbatial staff hooked in the lost
of many a future generation.