Wednesday, 13 February 2013

The Last Chapel Service

Everything is made of water says children

Passing Oundle  
Nene got swollen and bled all over

Some of the water won't move
in place (like the minister's hair)

Old women's voices mostly
sing "All that I am"
and I stop myself crying

scratch out
pretend heart

Sermon comes out on paper and flutters off

Tony does the gospel reading to be heard
with Islington traces

fenny revenge unsticking things

trembled concrete

floor warps

thin gloss
paint tears
and thin
dark etching
spider cracks

Jesus in pictures   All creatures
a donkey a cow a goose and a sheep

plain white blind remembering
stained glass     dimensionless

hardly there and wonderful

The odd brother says, "They set out
the pegs carefully for each thought".

Five feet of sellotaped canes for
orange feather duster
that is tenderness

Outside blue is more than any arrangements
going up and up and up


Strewn clouds    some
full    others feathered
going grey

very slow
danced in


  1. A beautiful (and believable) oscillation of feeling here, in the emotional space between a (perhaps necessary) distance --

    and I stop myself crying

    scratch out
    pretend heart

    -- and the engulfing emotional moment that appears to provoke that expression of standing-off, in the order of events here... yet in another (nonchronological, over-arching) way also seems to include and contain it, and us, and maybe even that Big Everything, in its universal application --

    All that I am, all that I do,
    All that I'll ever have, I offer now to you.

  2. Thank you, TC.

    Here was one of those occasions where no set distance could be arrived at. You're right to draw out the lines of that sung sacrificial prayer. Traces of an older Methodism, that fierce devotion of the Primitives with all time folding in to the moment of holy action. My father's roots are in the Welsh stream of Wesley's odd Jesuit flavoured take on Evangelicalism.

    The place: Thorney Chapel. Attendence has reached a critical low, the building gives way to the Fens and the remaining congregation, cash poor, have to find somewhere else to worship ("The Abbey" is not an option).

  3. I think TC has pegged the essence of this beautiful offering perfectly, as always.

  4. Thanks, Vassilis. He does have a knack for getting to the heart of a thing.