Thursday, April 29, 2010

Answered Prayers

They came with outstretched fingers, tapping blessings onto the shoulders of the supplicants. They swept around chambers, silence echoing from vaulted ceilings. They moved in a row, a tall thin mass, like a rank of poplar trees dividing a field. Their purpose was defined, their role made meaningful by the hunched shoulders of the morally dispossessed before them.

Their mitred heads gave the impression of a chess set made up entirely of bishops, their slide across the diagonals designed to counteract the halting one-pace steps of the masses. The rasp of their robes against unimaginably jointed meccano legs was in harmony with the dry breathy gasp of the faintest of breezes which crept behind the heavy ancient tapestries like wayward children fearing a beating.

They responded to rules and bells, to chants and incantations. In this room words and gazes were currency, and they were immeasurably wealthy, the impoverished their charges. Without the walls, their power was in the ability to draw the guilty, fearful and desperate through the grey stone doorway and into the place where mercy was placed like a bet on their shoulders.

And yet, despite the menace lurking at the stare-at-your-feet level, where the grey slate was chilled enough to keep haunches of meat cool and fresh, up towards the rafters, the fingers of God pushed rainbow reminders of light through the stained glass, and prayers lifted to mingle with the motes of holy dust which snagged them on their way to heaven.

There were walls. They could not contain what was within.


  1. sometimes faith has to be bigger than the rules we have been given to confine it

  2. Wow Scott - that piece is amazing!


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