Tuesday, April 13, 2010


His chapel fell into flowers long ago
And now his children frolic in the fields
Playing among the ruins
Unfettered by orthodoxy,
They are free. And he is glad.
The world is their cathedral
They are not trapped in confessionals
Or caught up in catechisms
Independent from institutions,
They know no fear of collars and robes.
And he is glad. They are free.

At night they sleep while chapel walls
Build up around his bed
And he is stirred out of his slumber
By the ancient and the primitive
And he wonders why he longs
To proclaim their names in water
Lay his hands upon their heads
Anoint their brows with oil
And break his love for them into bread.
But this need is his, not theirs.
They are free. And he is glad.
This is in response to readwritepoem's NaPoWriMo prompt #13. We were given several wonderful first lines from the poet Norman Dubie to choose from, and asked to write a poem using one of them. The first line of his that I chose was "His chapel fell into flowers long ago."


  1. Beautiful photo and poem...kinda like a more positive version of Blake's "Garden of Love"...

    I went to the Garden of Love,
    And saw what I never had seen;
    A Chapel was built in the midst,
    Where I used to play on the green.

    And the gates of this Chapel were shut
    And "Thou shalt not," writ over the door;
    So I turned to the Garden of Love
    That so many sweet flowers bore.

    And I saw it was filled with graves,
    And tombstones where flowers should be;
    And priests in black gowns were walking their rounds,
    And binding with briars my joys and desires.

  2. Erin, well done and nice match of visuals to the prompt. Your poem stands alone well and also reads well with the image.

  3. YogaforCynics,
    I had not read that particular Blake poem before, and the mirror-imageness of it to my poem gave me shivers. Thank you

    Annie, thank you. xoxo

    J.D. Thank you for coming by and thanks for the kind words.

  4. So special, this one. A lilting and timely and emotional poem. I consider you a major poet, Erin. (And Blake would undoubtedly agree.)

  5. I also chose this line, Erin, but my paltry stanza pales beside this, which I think wonderful.