"I am hearing poetry when awake, dreaming poetry when asleep, breathing poetry with each breath, I am living in a poem."

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Stained Glass Spin (Inspired by Patti Smith’s Dancing Barefoot)

The prayers turn
with stained glass spin.
Accepted words
fall on ears
that have tuned
them out.

Count the beads,
drink the sacrifice,
eat the bread,
Closet confessions
absolved by formulas.

The knees of guilt
can rise from
their posturing.
Heaven hears
another amen.

The prayers turn with stained glass spin.


Fireblossom said...

Wow, Susie. "absolved by formula". What a great line. I love the ritual of the Mass, but ritual without belief and action is hollow, and you've said that so clearly here.

Ruchi Jain said...

Heaven hears
another amen.
best lines..:)

Lolamouse said...

Very cool, Susie! "Dancing Barefoot" was another of her songs that I really liked. I do think you were able to capture her spirit in your words quite well.

Marian said...

love it, susie! i love dancing barefoot, my goodness.
this line is incredible: "Closet confessions absolved by formulas." Wowee.

Brian Miller said...

nice...i like the prayers turning in stain glass...makes for a very nice image...there is something to be said of ritual as long as you mind why you are doing them...

Peter Goulding said...

I suppose someone could write a thesis on Patti Smith and religious imagery but all they have to do is read your poem Susie. Spot on..

Laurie Kolp said...

I love it too, Susie... especially the last line.

Charles Miller said...

The need for redemption and absolution, so strong in many, cannot turn on formulas and hollow amens. You capture the dilemma that so many face when they seek forgiveness for whatbthey consider their sin to be. Freud seemed to back up the experience of many religions, when he explored the human unconscious. Humans have a deep-seated desire to live accirding to ideals, whether set by parents or society, and when they do not fulfill this desire they feel guilt. Religions attempt to provide a means to deal with these feelings and emotions. As your poem shows, however, religious rites become hollow and formulaic and one begins to question the authenticity or efficacy of the rites.

I think your repeated line is very effective in this regard:

The prayers turn with stained glass spin.

The firstbtime, you break the line but then you let it apoear unbroken. For me, the spinning is the whirlpool of angst and despair that sinners often feel. The unbroken line seems to say that at first the sinner tries to break the cycle of sin with the rite. But the rite is ineffective because it's a lie. Therefore, the unbroken line indicates the penitent's freedom to seek another form of redemptipn and solace.

RD said...

contrition may absolve, but it can not cure....I stared through the stained glass for so long I think I saw past the reason I was there and found a reason th be here


kaykuala said...

It's a great tribute,Susie! You covered it so well. The message lingers on.


Heaven said...

An eye catching first and last line...very nice take on forgiveness and redemption ~

Mary said...


Anonymous said...

"The knees of guilt
can rise from
their posturing.
Heaven hears
another amen.

The prayers turn with stained glass spin."

You well represent a heart that is not truly repentant but is just going through the motions. "Stained-glass spin" captures the turnabout of an insincere prayer.


Daydreamertoo said...

Yes, Heaven hears another amen.
I never did understand why it's okay to sin as much as you wish, go to confession, and be given 10 Hail Mary's and be forgiven. It doesn't nake any sense at all to me, but then again, it doesn't have to either.
Very well penned.

RD said...

I know I commented...yet...POOF

thank you for your time


S.E. Ingraham said...

This touches so many good points; ain't absolution a wonderful thing? Sorry, that's probably offensive but it used to bug the you know what out of me when my Catholic friends would do all manner of crap all week long, then go to confession on Sunday and get absolved, do their penance, and then start all over again without hardly drawing a breath ... if I hadn't already become rather stubbornly agnostic, I might've converted just for that luxury alone ... ranting aside, great poem.

Susie Clevenger said...

Thanks to everyone for your wonderful comments. It means a lot.

Claudia said...

Count the beads,
drink the sacrifice,
eat the bread,
Closet confessions
absolved by formulas...wow...rituals are not bad in itself i think as long as we know why we do them and as long as it's our own decision and not a product of mass pressure

Kerry O'Connor said...

Your extended metaphor of religious imagery seemed a strange choice considering your subject, but you worked it into the lines with amazing skill and a very powerful result.

Ginny Brannan said...

I grew up on guilt and ritual as only catholic school and church knows how to teach it. You captured it well in this piece.

adan said...

i like the evolution of the first two lines into a whole last line, interesting, fits really well with heaven's new amen, nice, thanks! ;-)

Margaret said...

You said it perfectly in your poem and Brian also did in his comment. Not much I can add here... Very well done!

© Confessions Of A Laundry Goddess , AllRightsReserved.

Designed by ScreenWritersArena