‘HOW TO HANDLE THE MYSTICS’ – a poem by Rupert Loydell


Reduce the images to art.
Let there be nothing inspiring
or powerful about them.

No one should sing or dance.
Encourage them to be silent.

Rationalise everything. It is
the effect of architecture or colour,
an early example of surrealism,
myth, magic or dream.

I am walking through Google maps
and visiting churches in advance,
looking at annunciations and icons,
saints and miracles everywhere.

I do my best not to believe
but the churches are dark and cool.

You are in the shadow and the light,
the paint, the dust and air.
I wonder at what got left behind.

© Rupert M Loydell

(The title is from Thomas Merton)


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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