Tag Archives: Contemporary Romanticism

On Finding the Great Witley Church by Karen Kelsay

great witley church

We saw your massive golden dome from down
below, a baroque body oddly out
of place. I snapped your picture by the brown
limbs hanging near the roadside fence, devout
 
old guards, one hundred years had left behind.
We leaned across your speckled balustrades
beside the river, where worn paths entwined
and crisscrossed near the watery cascades.
 
Then, hiking grassy slopes around the charred
magnificent old court, adjacent to
your holy place, we found a heavy door.
Surprised at how we easily slipped through,
 
we scramble in like heathens, unaware.
Inside were angels winged with elegance.
Subdued by stained glass, carvings, heaven’s air,
we marveled at your ancient relevance.
 
The pious moment passed, and then I thought
of all the souls who sat within your pews;
the offerings and sadness that they brought.
Your wood grain’s worn, as if it might transfuse

into a blemished song, or ancient phrase,
that mutely sings of suffering and praise.

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Photo by the poet, used with permission. For a recent bio of Kelsay, go here. For a comprehensive list of her poems published at WIZ, go here.