The Hillside Chapel

This short poem was inspired by a recent visit to St Mary’s, Kinnoull, a monastery that has many memories for me…

I visited a hillside chapel the other day…

The birdsong seemed a pleasing praise,

Sounding loud and sweet o’er forest crown;

Lifting the heart from its weary malaise.

How easy to sense God’s nearness there,

Away from men and their secular ways.




In that green fringed space, of granite and grace,

I prayed my Lord for yet another beginning:

Forgiveness for the waste of precious years,

Things not done, more so than actual sinning;

The labourer lingering in the loitering place,

Still tardy to the task of his Lord’s harvesting.


The worn stone seemed somehow to reassure:

A time span that was His, not mine to dictate.

A present moment, freed from regret and fear,

In which once again to choose love o’er hate;

To surrender my feeble efforts at being good,

And to let myself be tutored by the Advocate.


I visited a hillside chapel the other day…

A quiet spot, away from the madding throng:

A brief moment to recharge, renew, rejoice,

To join the birds in their sacred, soaring song.

And then, to come away, melodies rehearsing,

Back home to the city of men where I belong.