I wrote this poem for those who were ordained at the same time as me, near the feast of St Michael and All Angels - Michaelmas. At the time, most ordinations happened in our diocese at Petertide, the feast of St Peter in late June. During our pre-ordination retreat a priest who came to celebrate Holy Communion for us brought in Michaelmas daisies and gave them to us as a gift to focus our minds on this special feast. This poem was my response to the gesture.
summer's dying cries,
they hope, forlornly, that their unspectacular flowers
(rather too small and prone to mould)
will hold the darkness back a while.
So different from their early summer cousins
- blooming easily in the sap-surged months -
Michaelmas daisies know they have it all against them
as the year's night closes.
Yet, in suicidal faith,
they cast their brave flowers
to the jaws of autumn.
like us, are glad to hear
they have archangels on their side,
not just the wavering friendship of St Peter.
Sept 30th 94