Photo taken by Derek Stafford
St. Mary's Church in Prestbury, Gloucestershire, England 1990.
In nomine Patris et Filii…
the blizzard of your rationalizations
stings my eyes, filling them with frost, and
leaving me blind to see you
in sanctified service past or future resurrection.
like an arctic blast, your casual contempt engulfs me,
contempt for me, for us, for them.
it freezes my voice into crystal shards of glacial ice.
I am speechless, all alleluias frozen hard.
but tomorrow, tomorrow we will turn away.
we will seek asylum, hunker down, and take shelter.
we will lay logs of our own worth on the dying embers of our souls.
we will speak out, and live, and love, and be warm again.
with each unspoken brutality,
invited in and made at home and kept safe from prying eyes,
decay takes up residence within you,
setting up housekeeping and putting its feet up.
the canker of cruelty within you
festers and oozes, reeking of hypocrisy and ego,
and leaches into every nook and cranny,
filling your essence with fetid rot.
insidious, invisible, inexorable,
like cancer, it is slowly killing you,
drooling and slavering, hungrily devouring your soul,
and leaving you for dead.