The arches reach up,
to the heavens, if the builders are to be believed,
lifting your eyes from the darkness
to the light.
Meant to be a holy place,
today it is full of tourists.
There is a murmur here on the floor
where you stand, looking upward,
just at the builders intended.
There is art more art in this one corner of the cathedral
than you will create in your life time.
More, and richer, gilt with gold
and rich Rennaisance paints
than you can concoct in in your barren studio
back home across the ocean.
There are crowds here. Every day. Gawkers. Spectators,
It is loud with them.
Believers in art. In beauty.
in checking off their list of things seen
for their cocktail conversations.
They stop. Move on. What’s next?
You are the odd one.
No one notices. They are too busy
moving to the next chapel.
There are schedules to be met, even here
In the face of glory.
No one notices as
you simply stand. Look up.
your soul a captive
to the intentions of the builders.
There is God in this place.
In the light. In the gold. In the work
of a thousand craftsmen.
Stay long enough and the art disappears.
The voices of tourists disappears.
Everything becomes line and light.
Noise becomes music.
And you lose yourself in it all.
Surely this is not the only holy place
you have experienced. Temples appear
in the strangest places for you.
Man made and natural.
Any place you will allow.
And that is your goal.
To allow. Not to make.
Not to force.
To allow whatever tidbit of God
is in the time and place
and let the world around you
About this poem.
I have a weakness for holy places, and I constantly seem to find them. At times even, in churches and cathedrals.
The picture is from Saint Peter’s, in Rome.