Sunday, August 12, 2012

Of Piety and Penumbra

Stu McPherson is hosting Poetics over at D'Verse tonight, where he presents a well-written, and very interesting theme for us all to pursue.  This theme is that of Beautiful Sadness, the unexplainable incongruity that sometimes presents itself when experiencing items of inspiration, beauty and pure art, yet, it is here that you are thusly inspired in way you never could have imagined, where emotions, and systems of sadness etc. overtake you in a very surprising manner.

I wasn't really sure how I would personally tackle this theme, as, while being very open to numerous interpretations, I thought it important to truly peel back the layers within and try to find such an instance to draw upon, as I believe everyone experiences this type of sensation many times throughout their lives, and I knew I had done just that, so the real project for me, was connecting to that moment.  I was having difficulty for a while, but then this memory was recalled that I felt fit the theme perfectly.  It was many years ago, when I went to church with my mother, who happened to have been serving as a Eucharistic Minister that mass, and in so doing, she had to arrive a good twenty minutes prior to the start of mass.  So I sat in the pews and would do like I'd done many times before, stare intently upon the magnificent stained glass artistry that were in full display on each of the church walls.  This particular time, instead of simply appreciating the artwork and taking in the scenes depicted there, I was overtaken by a sadness, one that I never truly did understand, yet, it wasn't the type of sadness that keeps you in bed for days on end, it was different and that's the best I can do to explain it here.   Well, that's the backstory, hope you enjoy.

After reading the piece, make sure you head on over to D'Verse, read Stu's excellent article, and then most certainly dive right in to all the pieces linked up to the site by all the amazingly talented poets that often participate in the D'verse poetic community.  And, as always, if the inspiration strikes you, by all means go ahead and compose your own piece, and then link it up to D'verse for all to share in your creation.  Cheers.

The rhythmic patter dictates impetus
as eyes scan each brightly colored
platelet, donated for all to bear witness to its both, as I’ve since learned, piety and penumbra.

Vivid yellows partition scenes shared with
blues, reds and ancient greens, unlocking
sensations within you never knew

To truly understand the compass of depiction,
one must allow every representation to marinate
fully, collecting seasonings oftentimes misunderstood

The tales are those of healing, sacrifice and the purest
illustrations of love, pronounced to and for man.  Its methodical illuminations sparkle from apse to nave, the random
patterning of light’s voyage, in and through, should produce
A genuine sense of thanksgiving—an overwhelming awe steeped though, strongly, in uncontrollable feelings of guilt, for being, when so many others perish before their very appellations, ever truly get the opportunity to tickle the consciousness within

To get lost within such artistry, the mind can perturb the actualized experience—allowing deception to embrace the connotations, in what can only be contrived to be, nothing more than an entirety of observation, permutated by the rationalizing of pristine tenets of belief

Of all the many incarnations that have passed generationally, one would think the devout practitioner would have heard all the allegories, all the various possibilities of understanding, the fantastical meanings and messages—yet, tears stream through me, very much the same

In a way explanation will neither assist nor aide, calming the nerves of those ignorant to the internal processing beneath the eyes, therefore, allotting intuition to show how the spirit has taken hold of your earthbound frame—

Never considering, the salt flows mysteriously, for reasons I could never know—outside of perceiving, that somehow, someway, in shape and/or form, you, in such a realm of spiritual impact, have become the recipient, of what I’ve deemed to be, a conglomeration, of all that is wrong and right.  For what began chaste has grown soured, for what first piqued purity’s interest had also stoked melancholies unwavering flame, and in such moments, you cannot avert your glance from the painted windows masking the outer world askance—while the sermon stirs the air itself, and as the psalms then sing and thus possess the atmospheric verisimilitude—where even in such instances of innate tactility, you, and you alone, are living in a completely different state of being, saddened when elation should take hold your leash, leading you into an uplifting indoctrination of fullness and belief

But instead you remain, solely within the qualms of confine—where the world that enthralled you in, preserves your ignorance—as it creates an antithesis of living dream, an incongruity to replicate a balance amongst ballasts deep

Your tears collect in pools that do not dissolve with immediacy.  The then lost maze of disillusionment has since past, refraining from truly illuminating why in such grace you were presented with such a sad and mourning lapse—

It is here, that you return to the celebration’s living call—and by now being left alone, you understand why these portals of beauty, these windows to inner and outward poetry, could be referred to as ever being stained. 


  1. and by now being left alone, you understand why these portals of beauty, these windows to inner and outward poetry, could be referred to as ever being stained...just love this fred... i could spend hours watching just the stained glass windows in a church.. the way the light breaks and brings the stories alive and how they speak to each of us in the very own language that we can understand..

  2. "Your tears collect in pools that do not dissolve with immediacy" divinely melancholic...I like being inside churches for this reason.

  3. dang...really great closure on this man...this was a journey,a bit of understanding and for each of us a bit different yet familiar enough that in the end we relate and know it true...

  4. Enjoyed the read and the words of marvel and beauty of these stained portals and world inside the church ~ Though we also attend masses, I would stare in awe of these stained glass windows, humble of its meaning ~

  5. It seems as if you had an epiphany. Some churches are wonderful places to just sit and allow the mind to open. Many truths are not found in spoken words but, in silence.
    Very thought provoking and deep read Fred, thanks.

  6. Yes- agree with Claudia - the end is especially strong here. Very pretty and thoughtful - the qualms of confine - the difficult feeiings of the survivor - the guilt and gratitude - beautiful place and feelings described (and sad). k.

  7. Yeah I have no idea why some make me feel weird either or sad or whatever. As I don't even know what the hell I'm supposed to be looking at sometimes hahaha never really one to stop and stare forever at them though, as I want to be on the go.

  8. Amazing how places like this stick with us - this pen reminds me of a time I spent in a little old catholic church in Scotland- I was very Kung, had no real idea what religion was all about- but there was just something....something in the air, in the windows, in the seats, in the old sculptures - its almost intangible- and you capture that feeling here so very well in all int mystery...Also, I really enjoy your writing style - always a unique voice and unafraid to be bold!

  9. Your words definitely explain your experience well...the beautiful windows definitely took you on a journey of thought, which I am glad you have written and preserved as poetry. It is only when we explore the sadness deeply that we can really know the wonder of life, I think.

  10. This is a complex and interesting voyage you recall for us here--I think churches are of course temples, houses of godhead on the material plane, in the minds of those who inhabit them, and that they, like a 'haunted' house, take on an aura of reflected emotion from the strong feelings that bombard the brick and mortar...even I as a complete atheist have felt an undefined awe beyond just appreciation of art or atmosphere in a beautiful place of worship--I especially liked this little snip:
    "In a way explanation will neither assist nor aide"
    so true, yet the act of explaining means so much to us! Excellent take on the prompt, Fred.