through which sadness leaks,
a despondency that clutters etiquette.
Have I lost my memory, are there
images to applaud to a certain
sadness that says you have been
here before? I do not know,
but know that this church
sheds from shadows a curious warmth
that settles charms, imagining the great
organ belting out hymns,
although no one listened to the priest
who spoke of sacrifice and charity,
the two things not related he said,
the two things needed.

And as the rain seeps outdoors
I am given over to a daydream,
watching fantasies cross my eyes
like the stained glass window,
Christ on the cross of his love,
the disciples, Mary divine in excuses
that have helped Mrs Cooper
in the front pew and Margaret at the back
listening with ears opened and ripe, hoping
that such prayers might be answered.

Now this place of worship
fails within ages of its gathering,
too old to make the journey, Christ
on TV each Sunday pointing fingers
as I come to take the boys to the park,
anything to be rid of holiness if only
for an hour, an hour in which the world
might end, the orange glow over Moscow
mentioning the corners of the Kremlin
as the world now reckons its own armaments.

Only black magic left in the Vatican.
I know his name.

John Cornwall

If you've any comments on this poem, John Cornwall would be pleased to hear from you.

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