He cut, as they say, a striking rather than handsome figure: tall, without the required chiseled proportions; icy blue eyes, which shifted rather than stared; lips too full, face too pale, nose too round for a female’s fancy; with a great shock of salt-and-pepper hair, more fitting to a well-seasoned philosophy professor than an idealistic thirty-something trying to be taken seriously. His physical appearance was made irrelevant, however, when he opened his mouth and began to speak. The stereotypically Irish gift of gab had passed in abundance from his ancestors, to settle, nay, ignite in his own personality. The warm, round brogue of — County resonated as strongly and fervently as his words. He spoke of people, politics, morals and men, in terms of absolutes, ambitions, ideals, and principles. His absolutes were divine absolutes of God and reality; his ideals those of a patriot-martyr; his ambitions, the ambitions of a romantic or transcendentalist; his principles, the principles of a man with no practical application or experience whatsoever. Unlike the kindly Protestant or the diplomatic atheist, who base their lives on the virtues of skeptical reason and irrational skepticism respectively, this man based his life on the unshakable belief in his Faith — with the emphasis on ‘his.’

Sonnet #1

As a wistful whispering planet whirls

Alone along an overwhelming ring

Around a wide trajectory, a-swirl

The effervescent sun — a-shimmering

At center of the universe — and no

Reliance thus upon another star,

But solitary in its spinning slow,

Content to sing is canticle afar —

So I, in inky ilk, attempt to trace

Some semblance of your grand reality,

To gather glimpses of your hidden face,

To follow far, from fen to furthest sea.

My words, I fear, fall short of all I mean,

Although I follow with my steps unseen.