In This Silent Land.

by  Seamus Ruttledge

In this silent land
Say nothing
And keep saying it
In this silent land.
Men draped in cassocks
Possess a Nation’s secrets
To barter for souls over open graves
And we stay silent
In this silent land.

In this silent land
Hushed by conquest
Secrecy is sacred
In this silent land.
Subconscious whispers
Fill the confessional box
Where all flesh is sin
And silence is sacred
In this silent land.

In this silent land
The sun shines
On celibate holy men
Bearing sacred staffs
Like ancient chieftains
Parading authority from Castle walls
All over this silent land.

They measured the morality
Of a Nation
In a Roman Chalice
That shone bright
On the outside
For a people

Blessed with poverty
And bowed in silence
In this hushed land.

In this silent land
Women lay bleeding
On laundry floors
In this holy land
Infants are secreted
Like contraband
From cursed wombs
In this still, silent land

(To the memory of all of the women who were condemned to live desperate and lonely lives in the Magdalene Laundries.)