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January 19, 2011


In the cathedral,
even the building plans have some significance
apart from earthly matters—nave, transept,
cloister, and high above, the airy vault
swims among the clouds like a stone heaven
as darkened eyes seek upward and the hand
moves to the pew backs for balance barely kept
in the thrust of such elevation. What is given
is a chance to witness consummate design,
a pinnacle of endeavor seldom met
in stone lines rising to a necessary drive,
and rose windows—stone, lead, and glass
bursting into flames with each day’s sun.
Here is the upward striving of branched ribs, lines
bent in honor to some god, but it is not
the god of white beard and stern forgiving eyes
and distant glory. No—it is god in man
rising like an elm tree to a perfected shape,
reaching beyond the limit of his hand.

Here I stood by the bronze statue of a Child
and put my thumb into his palm of metal,
waiting, half-expecting another miracle.

This poem, originally written after a 1983 visit to the National Cathedral in Washington DC, has finally found publication, in the premier 2010 issue of Fault Zone.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Karen permalink
    January 26, 2011 10:26 pm

    Congratulations on the publication. Memory fades after a visit but the poem brings it back into sharp focus.

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