‘Seek Meadows’ – In Praise of Howard Campbell
Stephanie and I have just got back from attending the wake in Ireland of Howard Campbell, co-founder of the Kilkenny Druidry College. The love and support surrounding his wife Eimear and their family, from their friends, neighbours and fellow Druids was tangible and profound. Three Castles Rectory, their home and the centre for the College, was filled with warmth and colour, and both the wake and the funeral were held there – with Howard’s grave dug by his children in the small private graveyard that lies by the ruins of the old church beside the house. Howard and Eimear came to the OBOD retreat last year, and we all loved the gentle wisdom and playful joy that emanated from Howard – whether he was discussing Aristotle, reciting a poem, or listening intently. He was a GP, psychotherapist and psychiatrist, who was appointed to set up and develop the Child and Family Consultation Service in Ireland, and he was a Druid and a poet too. Howard will be greatly missed by all who knew him, but he will be remembered with joy through his poetry and writing. Just weeks before he died, he finished two books – ‘On the Trail of Love’ – to be published shortly – and a collection of poetry entitled ‘Darkness Shades So Light Can Be’ which is now available from the Kilkenny Druidry College. Here is a poem from that collection:
Seek Meadows Where Desire Feeds
Leave constricted ways — be as you are
Come to the ease of your full beauty
Rest in the apple orchard of your wild spirit
Grow fresh wild ways in cool moon air
Push love’s roots down deep in the shadow of your
Dream with your fallen leaves sleeping in the earth
Seek meadows where desire feeds
Become the wild May bloom
Waft the allure of your honeyed scent
Medbh take nectar of ease — delicately pour
Fill the beauty of her cup
I only met Howard briefly. I wish I could have known him. My thoughts are with the beautiful Eimear.
A truly lovely man.
We met Howard in September 2014 when we came to the Old Rectory for our beautiful handfasting ceremony in which he played a big part. It was a pleasure to meet him and were deeply sadenned to hear that he has left us. Our thoughts are daily with Eimear.