Seven Cathedrals – poetry by Rupert Loydell

The mercury cathedral

shows the temperature
in silver columns.

Quicksilver dogma
does not leave the body,

weighs both visitor
and congregation down,

a heavy metal heaven.


The alchemic cathedral

is always about
to become gold

if the right equation
or magic can be found.

You can waste
a lifetime here.


The cathedral of bones

is a grim place to be,
a sad place to worship.

There is no life
or resurrection,

just deathly silence
arguing with ghosts.


The cathedral of sound

is all echoes
and murmuration,
the faint memory
of song and readings,
a distant eulogy;
someone crying
for forgiveness.


The cathedral of fire

burns without smoke,
and belief and faith
are not consumed.

Their god is
a thunderstorm
passing through

a break in the forest
to stop the spread.


The cathedral of sand

is waiting for the tide
to wash it all away.

Who made the bucket
and turned out
this crumbling mound?

Who did the spade work,
bought the ice creams?


The cathedral of doubt

takes uncertainty to new heights,
never offers any answers,
encourages questions
and wonder and worry,
leaves everything unsaid.


Rupert Loydell is a writer, editor and abstract artist. His many books of poetry include Dear Mary (Shearsman, 2017) and The Return of the Man Who Has Everything (Shearsman 2015); and he has edited anthologies such as Yesterday’s Music Today (co-edited with Mike Ferguson, Knives Forks and Spoons Press 2014), and Troubles Swapped for Something Fresh: manifestos and unmanifestos (Salt, 2010).

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