Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Light Beneath the Wings

It was never my intention
to have so powerful an effect
upon the church as I did, but that’s
how it turned out, I suppose.
I spoke and wrote and argued
reason and tolerance and tradition;
I thought that Catholics
could be saved, oh, the outrage
that created but why not?
Some would call it humanism;
I considered it theology.
My Puritan in-laws used
a voice of disdain later turned
my Anglican colleagues used
a voice of disdain later turned
I walked with my Queen
in the Temple garden
as she fretted the Armada;
not a good time
to be nice to Catholics
so I remained diplomatically
silent and kept my head.

It gives me more
than a little pleasure to know
that my small scribblings
would help light the wings
beneath the church;
even the birds think so.

This poem is submitted for One Shot Sunday, hosted by One Stop Poetry. To read other poems based on the photo prompt and an interview with the photographer, James Rainford, please visit One Stop Poetry. To see more photos by Rainford, please visit his site at Fluidr.

Photograph of the statue of Anglican theologian Richard Hooker at Exeter Cathedral by James Rainford for One Stop Poetry. Used with permission.


dustus said...

Wow, you bring really bring out the thoughts and life of Hooker, including reasons why he should be memorialized. The bird reference at the end caps an excellent challenge response!

Jerry said...

a fantastic, thoughtful, educational response to the prompt.
it's funny how a man in time can scribble and give birth to such diversity in the body of Christ.

Brian Miller said...

very nicely played glynn...perhaps we should take a page from his book as each of us drops our own flavor into the blood of the lamb...

Claudia said...

i love that you bring in his life..never heard of hooker before (cough..) but i will check him out. thanks for providing a link

James Rainsford said...

I've been very impressed to read the poetic responses to this photo. It is an image which so easily could invite levity, but which has often also produced profundity.This is an impressive poem full of thoughtful intelligence and I thank you so much for sharing it. James.

Louise Gallagher said...


Even the cheeky bits...

so I remained diplomatically
silent and kept my head.

Yeah-- that losing the head was so easy for the weak-minded in those times.

Ami Mattison said...

Wow, Glynn! Bravo for a fantastic response to the picture prompt! I love the casual tone overall, especially as it seems in contrast to the typically staid tones of a history of religion. And yet each observation is astute and thought-provoking. Finally, the reference to the birds at the end is utter brilliance and makes me smile! Great job!

knot eye said...

very read so far

Peace, hp

Maureen said...

Poetry can do many things; in this instance, you've shown how it can educate. Some nice plays on words. The conversational tone helps lighten the heaviness of the subject.

Steve Isaak said...

Well-written, entertaining, smart.

hedgewitch said...

I like how you've taken a biographical approach here that is both religious and historical, and managed to blend those aspects seamlessly and without violation to either. The period you describe is a fascinating one for both reasons, a major piece in our human puzzle.

PS My verification code is "a bibled" I'm smiling.

Anonymous said...

Loved the history and thought you placed into this Glynn

Karen Kyle Ericson said...

What a wonderful post! To think our scribblings could help others. Such an amazing thought. My favorite line is "my small scribblings
would help light the wings
beneath the church;
even the birds think so." Perfect photo to match. Thank you!

S. Etole said...

you do this so amazingly well ...

Tracy Krauss said...

Excellent. I loved the line "I thought that Catholics could be saved, oh the outrage that created ..." People haven't changed that much. Christians get stuck in their denominational boxes not realizing they might not really have the monopoly on what God really wants.

Linda said...

That is an amazing photo Glynn and I think you've given it great life with your words.