In European Cathedrals in…

Churches crept through on rainless
Nights. Images of age and dust
Clinging to corners I
Cannot see. Candlelight.

Murmurs and Hymns
Sung, somewhere, in
The distance. While

Soft steps echo down aisles trod
Down by countless feet through
The long years. Handprints that
Run deep into walls, a
Mark, a
Plaque of people that once came…
But now sleep, somewhere,
Below broken stones of
Broken cemetery lawns. Yes,

Light rises up and the smell
Of incense lit by
Young boys that pay a dime
By smiling saints. Ancient
Women smiling down as
Glass shards of color
Fall on fragile floors of

Whispers I gaze up at
Paintings that
Chip. That creak with age but
Impart something beyond
Us as we…

Pass, crawl on knees across
Tired stones to
Tired men that read by candles that burn
Beside quiet eyes of women who
Mumble and whisper…

Mumble,
And whisper of
Time and death and
Age?

15 thoughts on “In European Cathedrals in…

  1. Grace March 17, 2016 / 10:15 pm

    You made me recall the murmurs, hymns, scents, history and scenes of altar boys in the cathedral ~

    The long years. Handprints that
    Run deep into walls, a
    Mark, a
    Plaque of people that once came…

    Love the line breaks Matthew ~

    Like

  2. Sanaa Rizvi March 17, 2016 / 10:34 pm

    Whispers I gaze up at
    Paintings that
    Chip.

    Sigh.. brilliant!

    Like

  3. scotthastiepoet March 17, 2016 / 11:10 pm

    A strong sense of presence and history conjured here… An excellent write – very pleasing…

    Like

  4. Victoria C. Slotto March 17, 2016 / 11:25 pm

    Such a sense of place in this. I’ve experienced this when I lived in France–I can smell the incense and hear the chant. This brought to mind Follet’s (huge) novel on building cathedrals. Can’t recall the name, though.

    Like

  5. Thotpurge March 17, 2016 / 11:53 pm

    Handprints that Run deep into walls… what a fabulous line…captures the mood of your poem so well.

    Like

  6. Glenn Buttkus March 18, 2016 / 12:08 am

    The cathedrals of Europe are the titans of architecture; in America we erected pale imitations. As noted, for those of us who’ve never been to Europe, your words transport us.

    Like

  7. Truedessa March 18, 2016 / 2:17 am

    I could feel the walls chanting – I am sure over the ages they have held witness to many things.

    Like

  8. Majka March 18, 2016 / 2:23 am

    Beautiful poem!☺ I love anything ancient, so this poem took me to a nice place. Thanks.

    Like

  9. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) March 18, 2016 / 5:26 am

    I could feel that special sense only a church could give, the echo of the walls, the prayers and the air itself seems full in a sense. I love how you took me there. The enjambment is particularly well done here, mirroring the hesitant visitor’s footstep (or should I say intruder)

    Like

  10. kim881 March 18, 2016 / 9:20 am

    I am not religious but there is something magnetic about churches and cathedrals. I love to visit and I related to your poem from the first to the last line. Beautiful.

    Like

  11. ZQ March 18, 2016 / 7:01 pm

    Awesome! one of the best pieces I’ve read today.

    Like

  12. Paul March 19, 2016 / 8:21 am

    I love how you created so many wonderful effects in your poem – rainless nights to start with. A very very pleasant read.

    Like

  13. katiemiafrederick March 30, 2016 / 8:54 pm

    SMiLes.. bEfore
    churches.. funerals
    and weddings
    foRest
    iN ticK
    toCk
    oF wE..
    only
    kNew
    FELT
    n o W
    change
    as uS Free..:)

    Like

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