Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Another poem in response to a challenge: to write something about the hollow-sounding echoes inside a cathedral.

Thirsting for water to quench cursing lips,
parishioners dug them a hole;
then thought they to build something to eclipse
the cavernous pits in their souls.

Deeply they dug first, to bury their guilt,
a foundation out of the mire.
Vaulting toward heaven, this cathedral they built;
and pointed The Way with a spire.

Catacombed secrets locked safely beneath,
on floors made of marble they'd kneel;
Upon buttressed walls that arose from the heath,
hung votives to give their appeal.

Chandelier prisms belie shadow-hid sins,
and glass stained with blood sheds a light;
the grimacing gargoyles reflect the chagrin
of the gathered disciples, contrite.

Heads are now bowed as the organ pipes sing,
while the pride of their hands stands erect;
Echoing praise to the Almighty King,
as cries of despair resurrect.

Archbishop Riley now stands at the nave,
hell-fire reflects in his eyes;
Sign of the cross first and then, with a wave,
he motions his flock to arise.

"All Hail the Power" they sing upon cue,
the transoms vibrate with each note;
The Archbishop bids them to sit in their pews,
and from his own gospel he quotes:

" A house is built by the knowledge of man,
but He that builds all things is God."
And wisdom there was in the architect's plan,
to call the church front a facade.

©2010 R.J. Gardner - All Rights Reserved

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