St. Piran (Feast Day: March 5)

A rhupunt

Irish heathens,
Strapped poor Piran
To a stone then
Rolled him over.

A cliff! Cut-throats
They came to gloat.
Though stones don’t float
This one turned boat,
Sea-borne rover.

What had been all
A rough sea squall
At God’s hand palled
Clear to Cornwall—
No need for Dover!



Neil Rhind came south to Edinburgh first for a degree and then a doctorate in Scottish literature. He has stayed in the city, mostly, it seems, to stage traditional fok theatre there. His writing has appeared in The Scottish Literary Review, The International Review of Scottish Studies, and the International Journal of Scottish Literature. Although much of his poetry follows religious themes he was most recently anthologised in Spectral Lines: Poems About Scientists [Alternating Current Press].

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One Response

  1. Margaret Coats

    Amusing and thoroughly Celtic (no need for Dover) picture of an incident in this saint’s life. Being unfamiliar with him, I looked him up in my usually reliable Biographical Dictionary, which does list Piran, saying it is the Cornish name for Kieran of Saighir. However, I was confused by dates and circumstances in the rest of the story. Can you provide any little clarification in the scope of a comment here?


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