poetic journeys: evensong


Bells beckon.  We approach
	the portal of Wells Cathedral,
		umbrellas and cameras in hand,
			one dwindling September day.

From the dimming façade,
	stone eyes of life-size
		kings, knights, and saints
			stare sternly down. They know

we are interlopers here,
	American travelers
		sampling a bit of
			English history.

Inside the massive 
	twelfth-century cathedral,
		under lofty arches
			upheld by thick umbrella ribs,

men and boys 
	in white cassocks
		sing psalms and Old
			Testament stories,

a choir
	of plaintive mourning
		doves and painted buntings
			in autumn twilight.

We perch like treasures
	on embroidered cushions,
		on pews carved into separate thrones,
			seventy tainted souls for the choosing.

Haloes of light
	from miniature lamps
		fall on our fingertips,
			tracing heirloom words

that shimmer on thin parchment
	in The Book of Common Prayer.
		We bow our heads
			like orchids, faces washed

with fading watercolor
	from the stained 
		glass windows.
			Incense, tendrils 

of candle flames
	flutter, like clematis
		curling up
			an invisible lattice.

Through sculpted quatrefoils,
	through prisms of jeweled glass,
		what remains of the day
			is simply the sinking sun,

the violet haze,
	the vague sprinkle 
		of stars, asterisks
			on pale indigo velvet.

The choir’s faces glow
	as if holiness 
		is singing rhapsodies 
			through them.

Their evensong ruffles
	my spellbound heart,
		a water lily trembling
			on a pond’s rippling surface.

Wells Cathedral, Wells, Somerset, England


“POETRY” Invitation:  I invite you to write a poem of any poetic form on your own blog about a particular travel destination.  Or you can write about travel in general. Concentrate on any intention you set for your poetry.

In this case, I was enrolled in a poetry-writing class in Spring 2001, less than two years after we ventured to England for our first European trip. I believe this poem was from an assignment to experiment with run-on free verse.  The rhythmic character in run-on free verse derives from strong run-on lines broken between the adjectives and nouns. The breaks are meant to force a slightly abnormal pause. This extra hesitation rhythmically evokes a tentative, uncertain feeling.  The choice of where to break the lines is arbitrary.

You can either set your own poetic intentions, or use one of the prompts I’ve listed on this page: writing prompts: poetry (This page is a work in process).  You can also include photos, of course.

Include the link in the comments below by Thursday, December 6 at 1:00 p.m. EST.  When I write my post in response to this challenge on Friday, December 7, I’ll include your links in that post.

This will be an ongoing invitation, on the first Friday of each month. Feel free to jump in at any time. 🙂

I hope you’ll join in our community. I look forward to reading your posts!

the ~ wander.essence ~ community

I invite you all to settle in and read posts from our wandering community. I promise, you’ll be inspired! See below in the comments for any links.

Thanks to all of you who wrote poetic posts. 🙂