An Empty Church

A church is holier when it is empty,
When every private step echoes off the ceiling,
Like ripples of solemn sound
And the candles stand unlit,
No little ripples in the holy water.

When it is only you,
Sitting alone with a carpenter.

Just you, the reliefs of Christ,
Whose eyes follow you from the cross,
Like the eyes of birds in the cedar trees.
A virgin's eyes turned downward
In Sunday's mourning.

No organs moaning

No matter how quietly you grumble a few psalms
Or work your way through the rosary
They all float into the rafters,
Only to be heard by a carpenter and a virgin.

by Patrick O'Reilly

Comments (7)

What a great poem...I love the picture you painted so clearly! Wonderful message that is thought provoking.Keep up the excellent work and keep sharing from the heart. =Shelley=
Excellent opening and closing lines. The imagery is arresting, and, even for one who rarely pokes his head into such a structure, your poem recalls the best parts of being there. Good work.
This is beautiful...its so atmospheric and calming
PATRICK...OUTSTANDING CAPTURE...STELLAR USE OF IMAGERY...HAVE OFTEN SAT ALONE IN MY CHURCH...just HIM and i... I ALWAYS PREFER THE ONE ON ONE'S...NICE WRITE! '''''''''''''''''''''''''~F.JJR.~''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
You did a great job of describing being alone in a church. I've felt it before and I felt it again when I read your poem. Excellent use of specific detail resulted in a vivid poetic experience.
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