Monday, August 27, 2007

2 Psalmic Compositions August 26,2007

Psalm for Jonathan Daniels d. August 20, 1964

Jon Daniels went down to Alabama * a volunteer, helping black

citizens register to vote.

He left his seminary studies back in Cambridge, * the green hills of New Hampshire,

his boyhood home.

He left the incense-haunted place of revelation, * and took magnificat to be his creed.

Guileless, he lived among the people; * their children trusted him.

Unknowing, he joined the group that went to Hayneville; * nonviolent, they spent the

night in jail.

Released in the morning, they went to get a drink, * Coca-Cola, at the nearby little store.

In the street, Tom Coleman shot him, * and Father Morrisroe his friend.

Tom Coleman, (was he a deputy?), * believing that he did God’s will.

Jon Daniels placed his body * between the shotgun and a teen age girl;

He died instead of her, * white for black, male for female, him for her.

His novice priesthood sacrificed, * his cup spilled, but covenant unbroken.

The reputed deputy went unpunished: * his jurors, twelve white men,

While, from the dust, another justice worked a silent plan * to heal the land.


O how strange is your wisdom, O God, * how subtle your judgments, how masterful your

process of indirection!

Surely, Coyote is your emissary, * and Raven your plenipotentiary.

When Israel was enslaved in Egypt, Pharaoh commanded the midwives to kill the

little Jewish boys, * as soon as they were born.

Pharaoh commanded Shiphrah and Puah; * he commanded, and they had no choice but to


But they hastened very slowly, * whenever they were called for.

They explained themselves to Pharaoh, * they offered this excuse:

“The Hebrew women are too fast for us; * by the time we reach the birthing-place, they

have already delivered, and their new-born boys are hid from you.”

Thus were Pharaoh’s plans subverted, * and Israel preserved.

Pharaoh raged and cursed, * but the midwives rolled their eyes and said, “tee-hee.”

How ridiculous are the mighty, O God, * when they set themselves against you!

In vain do they wage war against infants, * and command the merciful to commit acts of


For awhile, they seem invincible, * but history soon forgets them, and robbers

desecrate their tombs.

But let Shiphrah and Puah be remembered, * and their names be praised in Israel.

Wherever childbirth is respected, * and midwives held in high esteem.

Wherever slaves move slowly, * to follow ruthless orders given by the strong.

God’s praise is sung among the lowly, * among those who act with kindness, even

when it places them at risk.

While the cities of the ruthless fall into ruin, * and sand blows over them.

Coyote howls among the fallen pyramids, * and Raven cackles at their tombs.

Exodus 1:15-21

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

August 21, 2007 3rd month of the last sabbatical

Dear Dad:

You taught me, not just “how to fish”, but how to experience our fishing on a deeper level. Since your death on this day (August 21) in 1981, I have missed the opportunity to recount my fishing adventures to you, knowing that you would excuse and understand my flights of fishing fancy, my piscatorial phizosophizing, and also that you would not hesitate to point out the more unfortunate examples of excessive prosifying, such as that last phrase. Oh, and the spelling mistakes, of course. But we have this thing called spellcheck…

Dad, you know that I don’t just “miss you”, I grieve for you, I love you more with each passing year, and I pray that you know this, somehow, by means beyond our knowing.

Here is my story about…


Our lives are spent staving off scarcity, or the possibility of it. We don’t want to run out of money, so we earn more; we don’t want to run out of food, so we store it up. The most glaring example of scarcity would be nothing-ness. So we could, and do, regard all the examples of something-ness around us as random exceptions to a general rule of scarcity. A trout, for instance, or the various stages of insect life upon which they feed… mere flecks of anti-scarcity clinging to the surface of a tilted universe, sliding toward oblivion. If nothing-ness is the norm, then we are all engaged in a desperate struggle to beat one another to the next scrap of edible scarcity.

If that were so, then perhaps our fly fishing would be a symbolic expression of this primeval anxiety. But it is not. While daylight prevails we try to tempt the trout with imitations of the occasional stray bug, but rarely do they respond. And why should they? In their collective trout-consciousness they seem to know: their lives are not “exceptions to a general rule of scarcity”; they are a function of lavish abundance.

Sometimes we get to see this for ourselves.

Last Tuesday evening, fishing with River Dog (guardian of the purity of Michigan rivers), on the Ausable. A few trout had been rising to occasional and largely invisible prey, except for the encouraging sight of an occasional white miller mayfly. This inch-long puff-ball of white insect is known to hatch in mid to late-August along this part of the River, and we had come hoping to witness and, by stealth and artifice, to join it. But who can predict the ways of insects?

Around 8 p.m. the breeze died and the overcast that had prevailed all day cleared somewhat, revealing patches of blue sky and a setting sun. River Dog and I had separated, so, except for two kingfishers, I had this stretch of river all to myself. I caught a trout, and after releasing it, realized that the feathers on my white miller imitation had unraveled, making it useless and unworthy as a trout lure. Standing hip-deep on the edge of the swift current, I set about tying on a new one, and as I did so began to be aware of the sound of trout rising frequently around me, some within a few feet of where I stood. The combination of dim light and barely-visible fishing line can make the tying of a secure knot difficult, and this occasion was typical in that respect. During those few frustrating minutes, I became aware of what was causing the fish to rise. In the darkening air around me a transformation was taking place: along the whole length of river a swarm of white millers was emerging from the water and forming a mist-like layer over the surface, ascending to the tops of the high trees, and then surging upstream in great waves of coordinated movement. New insects continued to rise up, squeezing between the spent white carcasses of their dead relatives floating on the surface. As this transpired, trout were consuming them with successive slurps, sips, and splashes. I hooked one on my first cast with the new fly, and as I was landing and releasing it the last trace of daylight disappeared from the western sky. In the darkness the insect horde continued its pilgrimage, emerging, ascending, surging upstream, dying, falling, and returning downstream again.

Very soon, however, the sound of feeding fish ceased altogether. Apparently the trout were satiated, like overstuffed Romans at an orgy. Bugs continued to flutter at my ears, bat up against my fly line, collide with my glasses, and occasionally get sucked in with my breath. Satiated myself, I soon stopped fishing, and, lighting my way with a pen-light, waded to shore in a shimmering cloud of light reflected from countless white wings. From under the cedars along the shore, the River appeared to be shrouded in a pale fog that swirled sporadically upstream, stirred by an unfelt breeze.

No wonder trout are slow to strike at other times! Why search for food if such a bounteous plentitude is about to offer itself? Why eat when you are still “stuffed to the gills” from last night’s feasting? Their lives are a function of abundance.

What we had been doing was more than a fishing expedition, it was an immersion in the symbiotic relationship between fish and insects and river, and in their collective relationship to us. In this setting we were the intruders, the witnesses, the priests who, alone among the actors in this drama, could behold all the elements of the plot, and all the relationships between the players. We could even masquerade as legitimate members of the cast, disguising ourselves as bugs so as to gain backstage admittance, where we could don our neoprene vestments, and wave our sacred wands over the river, beseeching acceptance.

Our lives proceed from such lavish abundance, and end the same way. Love is not scarce, nor is grace in short supply. The problem for us is not how to beat each other to the fishing hole… it is to find a way to inhabit the abundance with humility and grace, like a native, like a mayfly, like a trout.

Like you, Dad.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

August 14, 2007. 3rd Month of the Last Sabbatical


The “Royal Mile” in Edinburgh, Scotland, is an historic urban thoroughfare that has adapted successfully to the demands of postmodern tourism and commerce. Its shops specialize in Scottish paraphernalia, cuisine, and whiskey, and street performers do a brisk business among summer crowds that bulge out into the traffic. The “High Street”, as its’ known, runs up the side of a mountain, a dormant volcano, with Holyrood Palace (where I believe the Queen stays when in Edinburgh) at the lower end and Edinburgh Castle on the commanding heights, and numerous alleys and narrow by-ways intersect with it all along its length.

Located on one such obscure side street is Old Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church, its existence noted only by a small sign on the High Street. There is no church building in sight, however, and those who wish to find it must proceed with considerable faith down a sloped alley cluttered with the usual signs of urban excess and dereliction to where a weathered door marked by another small sign identifies Old St. Paul’s as having been a “center of Jacobite politics in the Eighteenth Century, and later of Anglo-Catholic religious activity…”, or words to that effect. Like Harry Potter seeking admission to a Wizards-Only rendezvous, one must summon their courage and push on this door with some authority in order for their quest for Old St. Paul’s to be fulfilled.

There may be another, more conventional point of entry for this church, but entering it as I did reinforces the impression of a clandestine meeting place, a catacomb, or cave dwelling, for the door opens onto a space of astonishing depth and height, built as it is into the side of a cliff. Little daylight penetrates, since other buildings surround and conceal it, and so the large stained glass windows admit only a pale greenish version of daylight, barely enough to make out the faintly glowing shrines and altars scattered about the space below.

On the walls of certain European caves are crude paintings of animals that are regarded as the oldest evidence of religion among human beings. It is supposed that prehistoric hunters created these icon-like paintings to express gratitude, wonder, and hope with regard to the animals that sustained their lives. Like all hunters, they spent a lot more time story-telling, than they did hunting, and the cave-paintings were probably the result of winter nights made shorter by tales and memories of wooly mammoths slain and eaten, and of the miraculous renewal of their numbers that occurred every Spring. This sense of kinship with other species and gratitude to whatever it is that produced them is the primal source of religion, and (I am convinced) remains with us still, though few of us hunt, and those who do engage in a highly modified, ritualized version of this ancient struggle for survival.

As I have said, Old Saint Paul’s struck me as cave-like, and had its stained glass contained imagery of hairy bison and wooly mammoth instead of saints and angels I would not have been surprised. Those who worship in this place are delving deep into the primal elements of faith and human community, and when they emerge from their prayers into Sunday-morning sunshine they are reenacting a Navajo creation-myth wherein human beings emerge into this world from a crack in its surface. That was in Arizona, of course, and this is Scotland, so you might have to forget about the sunshine. But cosmic rebirth can occur anywhere, right?

The Jacobites were partisans of the Scottish house of Stuart, adherents of those royal politicians known to the British establishment as “Pretenders.” The Scottish Episcopal Church has this tendency in its pedigree, since its bishops were “Non-Jurors” who believed they could not in conscience rescind oaths of allegiance made to James II, the Stuart King deposed in the “Glorious Revolution” of 1689. Of his successors, the most famous was “Bonnie Prince Charlie,” whose efforts to regain the crown were definitively overthrown at the Battle of Culloden in 1742, the last pitched battle to be fought on British soil.

So it appears that Old Saint Paul’s was, in times past, a center of conspiracy and dissent, a gathering place for outlaws and rebels. No wonder this church is so hard to find! In former times it would not have been wise to be seen entering Old Saint Paul’s publicly. Better to make one’s way furtively down the alley, unseen by officials of the Hanoverian kings.

In some ways Anglo-Catholicism may be to postmodern culture something of what the Jacobite-ism was to Eighteenth Century British politics. To those who know enough about Anglo-Catholicism to criticize it, its adherents often seem like “pretenders” who crave the pageantry of catholicism but have no appetite for its disciplines. Like the “Non-Juring” stance taking by Scottish Bishops of the past, places like Old St. Paul’s can seem out of step with the times, attractive only to mavericks, waifs, and strays. Like Prince Charlie’s doomed cause, there is something quixotic about the effort to melt capitalism’s stony heart by waving incense at it.

I am told there is still a Stuart Pretender to the throne, and nothing could be more irrelevant (or ridiculous) with regard to the current state of British politics. But outlaws have their place in history, an example being found at Old St. Paul’s, where one of the more modern stained glass windows shows three Scottish bishops in the act of consecrating Samuel Seabury, the first Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the USA. It is a relatively well-known historical fact that Seabury sought episcopal ordination from the Scots because English Bishops were unwilling to elevate to the episcopate a representative of England’s rebellious former colonies. Perhaps, along with the apostolic succession, those renegade Scottish bishops conveyed to America’s first bishop some their subversive spirit, and a measure of “up yours” defiance that is not uncharacteristic of Scotland to this day.

Anglo-Catholicism had its beginnings in the “Oxford Movement” of the mid-Nineteenth Century, but in the contemporary scene of ecclesiastical life and politics it continues to wield influence, not so much as a movement as an attitude. Perhaps a parallel observation could be made regarding the Jacobite cause of former times, which could be understood as having evolved into an attitude of cultural resistance to English dominance. In the past, this has taken the form of distinctive Scottish music, customs, and speech, but more recently has shown a more overtly political face, as evidenced by ubiquitous Edinburgh graffiti that reads “END LONDON RULE,” and the like. Anglo-Catholicism persists like the reverent stories told by hunters as they huddled around campfires in icon-studded cave dwellings. It haunts the halls where synods and conventions meet, manifesting itself wherever partisans of any stripe are inspired to take the long view, identify with the underdog, or learn to tolerate ambiguity. In all its diffusion, and even absurdity, Anglican catholicity continues to become incarnate in places like Old Saint Paul’s: obscure, odd, as deeply rooted in human consciousness as it is in the side of its volcanic cliff.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

August 8, 2007 3rd Month of the last Sabbatical

Oxford Street and St. Paul’s

Oxford St. in London is more cosmopolitan, crowded, and commercially active than Times Square, Fisherman’s Warf, or Michigan Avenue, or any other American venue of its kind. Like them, it is lined with stores selling clothes, shoes, jewelry, electronics, and souvenirs, but its multi-racial clientele speaks more languages and is generally more glamorous and decked-out. Families on holiday, groups of animated women, and loud teenagers, mostly French, all make their way through the crowds with supreme self-confidence, ignoring everyone but their own companions, all spending, eating, talking, all but one Muslim man who stood out in his gown and skullcap, who carried no plastic bags of merchandise, but strode purposefully through the crowd that seemed to part before him.

At the east end of this thoroughfare rises St. Paul’s Cathedral, protected from the busloads of tourists by a contingent of uniformed attendants who, every day around 5:00pm, bar the door to all but devotees of Evensong. Disappointed tourists turn away angry, like all shoppers deprived of an opportunity to spend. Only the devout minority (numbering about 300), are permitted to queue up, in good English style, and wait to be admitted into the chancel where the daily service occurs. Do they even know what they are waiting in line for? Perhaps not, but, whatever it is, they know it is a bargain, for Evensong-goers are absolved from paying the hefty admission fee.

As I waited with them, my eye wandered over the vast interior, crowded with memorial plaques and tombs of various national figures, some famous but most just well-connected. A thought occurred to me, as it has to others, no doubt: how will Britain’s current crop of celebrities be memorialized? I dare say it will not be at St. Paul’s, because there is no space left! Then again, would the notables of today even want to be recognized in such a way, alongside the members of the famous charging Light Brigade, the first Anglican Bishop of India, and the Duke of Wellington? Preoccupied with such weighty thoughts I looked down at the memorial plaque etched into the floor at my feet, and was startled to find I was standing on the grave of Charles Darwin! A curious place, St. Paul’s, and hard to categorize. It is part museum, part mausoleum, part storage-closet.

Whatever else it may be, St. Paul’s is a place of worship, and after some time a verger ascended the pulpit, and, using the PA system, instructed us in the most elegant of accents to occupy choir stalls in the chancel, leaving space only for the “Vicars Choral,” the male portion of the Cathedral Choir who were to sing the service that evening. As instructed, I found a choir stall beside a very nice Canadian woman and her daughter, and we sat as the vast building gradually fell quiet.

The first sign of liturgical life was a growl from the cathedral organ that I felt in my feet and back before I could actually hear it with my ears. Soon the voices of the Vicars Choral could be heard from out under the cathedral dome, singing a Latin introit, and from that point on I became lost in a familiar liturgical landscape, a country where all boundaries melt away as chanted psalm verses merge imperceptibly with silence. Then, with the last “…world without end. Amen” still lingering in the air, from some unseen lectern a disembodied English voice began with faultless diction to inform us of the doom pronounced upon “ruthless nations” by the Prophet Isaiah. Are we to suppose this prophecy applies to the demise of the British Empire? If so, this huge building represents the remnant of its spiritual capital, and this elegant act of worship its requiem, witnessed now by a congregation of tourists, survivors of a day on Oxford Street.

The cathedral organ is undergoing massive reconstruction involving a forest of scaffolding, and the musician plays the instrument, Oz-like, from behind a curtain, saving thunderous crescendos for special moments, our souls serving as the wizard’s playthings, swooped up to dizzying heights of joy and surrender, and then abandoned in mid-air for some sedate doodling and harmless chords. We plummet to earth without a parachute, but finding ourselves still intact, at once begin to long for another dose, another turn on the thrill ride.

It is like an addiction, a yearning for more that cannot be fully satisfied- an awareness all the more strange since only a few minutes earlier, I (we?) were wondering how much longer this bible reading would last, how soon this period of silence would end, when something, anything, would happen.

This is religion in its purist form: ecstatic boredom, ruthless beauty, elaborate simplicity, unfinished completeness. I wonder: is the organist a tool of God, a sacramental agent? A means by which God descends upon a cacophonous world to render it harmonious, coherent, and beautiful? Is that unseen musician like the man in a skullcap, wielding an unseen authority? Or is the Man Behind the Curtain a charlatan? An Oxford Street merchant in an archaic store? A dealer in cheap addictive drugs?

Isaiah has the last word: all the ruthless nations of the Eighth century B.C.E. have come and gone, their cities have fallen and will never be rebuilt. What seems to endure is the very last, exquisite and unresolved chord of the organ postlude.

I return a few days later with my friends, one of whom is an organist and respected colleague of many years. My spiritual appetite has grown sharper in the past few days, and I am eager, desperate, almost, to share the intoxicating reality of this musical place with them. But it soon becomes evident that there is to be no choir, no organ. The Service will be said this evening, as the musicians are all on holiday. Should I feel so disappointed, like a child who, expecting to be offered an ice cream sundae, must settle for a chiclet? Am I a disappointed shopper, too late for the Big Sale? Here is Oxford Street, possessing my soul, right here in the bowels of the Cathedral. What, God cannot arrive without the wizard’s conjuring?

I apologize to U, scourge of empires, author of harmonies: the final chord still hangs unfinished in the air, with U inhabiting the emptiness as I share this moment with my friends.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

August 4, 2007. Month 3 of The Last Sabbatical

Before leaving for Great Britain I wrote about “sacred enchantment” and the “vast domed spaces” that have symbolized it in my dreams. Strange, then, to find that “vast domed space” existing within sight of the hotel where we stayed in London! Well, not literally “domed”, but certainly high-steepled, massive, and visible all over the neighborhood. Catching a glimpse of it as I exited the underground, I surmised it must be St. Augustine’s, Kilburn, an Anglican church not unknown to the guidebooks but definitely off the beaten path.

What I found was a building of cathedral-like dimensions, surrounded by a large, green park, and surmounted by many towers of varying heights. In the yard stood a larger-than-life Calvary, its solemn grimness accentuated by vases of faded flowers wilting on its stone steps. Obviously, those who established St. Augustine’s meant it to be a place where religion is not to be taken lightly.

The only sign of life was an open gate in the iron fence surrounding the property, but a sign indicated that “the church will be open for a period before each service,” an event that was to take place shortly, as the hour for “Evening Prayer and Rosary” was about to arrive. Once inside, the dim interior revealed numerous shrines with flickering candles, side altars, and the ubiquitous feel of incense. A large shrine to Our Lady of Sorrows dominated the south aisle, summoning memories of my youthful attraction to that doleful devotion. There seemed to be a mantle of Marian influence cast over this space, like the veils shrouding the many Muslim women in the neighborhood. At St. Augustine’s, “sacred enchantment” revealed a distinctly feminine side.

Evening Prayer was said in choir, with the two clergy reciting from the Roman Breviary and coaching me as required, their mellifluous English voices answering one another like twin waterfalls on converging creeks. Parts of the office were chanted in Latin, and as I joined in soto voce I found myself with disbelief suspended, watching my own imagination take flesh before my eyes, regretting the end of every psalm and every reading, every canticle and every prayer. If it were not for Nancy and the children to hold me in existence, I might have disappeared for good into the silence between the psalm-verses, and become another mute spectator among the apostles posted along the chancel walls. In a way, I am there still, suspended somewhere between the vaulted ceiling and the frescoed walls, a lingering molecule of incense-flavored air, having been burned alive and martyred on hot coals at that place where (as my brother Bob says) myth and reality intersect, and (as I have written before), “…all the stories and the rivers merge, and sleep rolls like breakers on an unknown shore.”

My goodness, whatever happened to “sacred irreverence?” Scarcely any of that to be found written above. But it remains, nonetheless. These ultramontanist clergy are admirers of a different Roman Church than the one I have experienced in the US, where heavy-handed authoritarianism infantilizes the laity and leaves many clergy stuck in a kind of permanent adolescence. And I wonder, is it possible to maintain such a complex shrine as this without blocking out much of reality? Complicated worship, as Thomas Cranmer observed, puts all power in the hands of a liturgical elite, and makes passive consumers out of the most laity. Indeed, the C of E in general exhibits this characteristic, and it would be easy to become a “sampler of religious products,” hopping from one splendid edifice to another in search of musical perfection and liturgical excellence. Clericalism, like any top-heavy ideology, can create some very unhealthy dynamics. At the church I served in the 60’s, the elaborate worship went on unabated while the senior clergy lost themselves in self-destructive behavior. At the time, I blamed the professional choir and fussy liturgics, but what was truly lacking was someone to tell the truth about blatantly dysfunctional behavior. You might say they needed Jesus at that church. Or AA. Or maybe they are the same thing.

Yet if Jesus is anywhere he is at St. Augustine’s, and the clergy there struck me as being the “real thing,” men of God, not unhappy, cynical, or in denial. The congregation that worshipped there was eclectic, affectionate, and extremely devout. There was a sense that something truly extraordinary was happening in the course of the Liturgy, a quality that I want very much to replicate in my own approach to worship, more than in the past.

Yet (my irreverent self interjects) that quality is something (not exactly a “thing”) that enters the church with the people; it is not an alien “thing” we must “conjur up” at the altar and impose upon people. “It” is “already present,” and our task to be receptive and attentive, to remove obstacles, not to play God and invent “religious experiences.” Besides, if people are not exactly clamoring for a chance to take part in the daily office, why not chant parts of it in Latin? It’s just the sort of odd behavior that throws the world out of balance, and creates an opening for the wild Spirit to break in. It takes some drastic magic to enchant a world as thoroughly muggled-up as Oxford Street and Picadilly Circus. Anyway, it worked on me.

My encounter with St. Augustine’s was an accident, like Anglicanism, like meeting Nancy at the pharmacy, like discovering St. Michael’s Farm at a parish coffee-hour. Such “accidents” are the stuff of grace, and I put my trust in them.

Beneath the Cathedral 1988 The National Cathedral

Beneath this chthonic cathedral where tourists swarm like

young bees

in a subterranean chapel domed by solid rock,

I wait

And know

I have been here before.

For this is a stone-dream, wherein

I travel through some small drab towns,

And come upon a huge and multi-leveled church:

It is my church,

And I belong.

The paint peels; candles flicker at the shrines;

A vested celebrant waits in dim sunlight

At the end of a corridor.

But I pass down to the lower depths.

I come to a vast, domed space,

So hollow, so intensely hollow,

And in my sleep I find myself aroused, like in some

adolescent dream.

And then I have two bodies, one an outer husk or shell,

another exactly mirroring the first,


Is this stone a womb, where I re-live my own passionate

conception, and life in vitreo?

Am I an egg, waiting for some rendezvous?

Here in the Arimathean’s cave, I wait to see.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

August 2, 2007. Last Month of the last sabbatical

Wedding Day: July 28, 2007

In Duns. Berwickshire, The Borders, Scotland.

Duns is Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, with narrower streets. It is also Oz, or the Shire, except with everything made of stone, solid and made to last. If “the Imagination became flesh and dwelt among us,” it would be at Duns. Yet the town radiates good sense, careful management, and tradition. But not stuffy! The Scots may be frugal and industrious, but they are peerless when it comes to having fun. As with other peoples who have been subject to cultural and political repression at the hands of more powerful neighbors, the Scots cling to their dances, music, speech patterns, and festivals as acts of defiant self-definition. To observe this in action is a major attraction for tourists; to be invited and accepted into it as a participant is an honor beyond measure.

After a blessing ceremony at the Scottish Episcopal Church the Bride and Groom led the entire congregation in a procession down the street to the groom’s family home, where a garden reception was held. A piper led us, the sound echoing far down the hill and throughout the town.

Procession Poem

A piper is playing,

A procession is following

Caitlin and Michael

Down the Duns Road.

Between the tall meadows,

Sheep at their grazing,

Stone walls and slate roofs

Yield to the sound,

Welcome their passage

Into the future,

Surrounded by Scotland,

Embraced by the sky.

Sacred their walking

In the procession,

Begun in the future

On the bones of the past.

Follow the piper,

Never an ending,

Crossing the Borders,

Join with it now.