St. Patrick, never leave me in the lurch,
swimming in Irish whiskey.  Toward my perch
Advent is drawing on, time for more church,

more Gospel readings, lessons from St. Paul,
time to lend ears to dancing David’s call.
The youngest son of Jesse calmed King Saul

in madness, plucking his ten-stringed lyre
until Israel raised him from a byre
and launched his songs onto our sea of fire.

Published in the December 2, 2016 issue: View Contents

Timothy Murphy, a frequent contributor to Commonweal, died on June 30 at his home in Fargo, North Dakota. His books include Very Far North (2002), Mortal Stakes and Faint Thunder (2011), and Devotions (2017). Requiescat in pace.

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