Thursday May 6th, 2010

The exercise:

Your prompt today, courtesy of Greg, is: building a cathedral.

And I'm not using his prompt just because I'll be seeing him on Saturday. I'm sure there are other reasons. I just can't think of any at the moment.


Brick by blessed brick
It reaches ever higher
For a heaven it will never reach.

One by silent one
The builders stop working
So they can hear the father preach.

Word by holy word
The teachings from on high
Are shared with men cut from stone.

Brick by blessed brick
They return to building a shrine
To a god they have never known.


Greg said...

Your poem reminds me of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, though I suspect many of the workmen there are Catholic and probably do know something of the God they're exalting with their efforts. I really like yours though, especially the middle two verses that neatly capture the conceit of the poem. The repetition of the first line in the last verse works rather well too!
Right, let's write mine, then it's off to the airport and (hopefully sunny) Vancouver!

Building a cathedral

"What did you say this was again?"
"A cathedral of the mind, Dave. Somewhere you can go to find beautiful, glorious structures that soar ever higher in their quest for truth and perfection. It can be chilly and lonely on those lofty heights, of course, but there will always be another penitent nearby, toiling away at constructing the next level who'll be happy to lend you a hand."
"You what?" Dave stared at Vince as though he'd just clucked and laid an egg. "Did you swallow a dictionary or something?"
"Nah Dave," the reverential tone had dropped from Vince's voice, "it's written down here, like." He pointed at a blank stretch of wall. Dave squinted, but still couldn't see anything.
"Only members of the Invisible College can see those plaques," said another voice, somewhere behind Dave's shoulder.
Dave whirled, his muscular shoulders rippling as his arms flew out, gripping the newcomer here and here just so, and then he changed his weight, dropped his centre of gravity, and judo-threw the man against the wall.
There was a solid thud, a second smaller one as the man fell to the ground, and then a soft sigh from Vince.
"We're here to build a cathedral," he said gently. "Not start filling up the basement already."
"We're here to find a bloody book," said Dave, who was breathing more heavily than he'd have liked. "The one that rots the eyeballs of anyone who tries to read it."
"Unaussprechlichen Woerte der romanische Kulten." said Vince, nodding.

Marc said...

Glad you liked my poem and even more glad that you've arrived safely in Vancouver!

I shall see you tomorrow - at which point I shall demand a translation of that final line :P