AT THE ABBEY 1968

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: October 15, 2016

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Submitted: October 15, 2016

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Dark evening,

trees swayed
by hard wind,

taxi lights
lit up
the abbey church,

domum Dei,

I stood
on the forecourt
peering at
the shadowy church,

I monaci sono
in chiesa
an Italian said,

I followed him
into the church
and we sat in
the side pews
in semi-darkness,

è Compieta
he said,

I nodded
and stared ahead
at the one red light
at the altar end,

a monk
dressed in black
walked
from cloister
to the bell tower
genuflecting
towards the altar
end first,

Dom Peter
the man said
pointing
at the monk,

other monks
came in
and genuflecting
took their places
in the choir stalls
either side
of the church
and stood facing
the altar end,

then once all
the monks
had settled
the lights
went out
and a voice
chanted out
converte me Deus,

other monks
chanted on
in the dark,

the world outside
living it up
and down,

here
just darkness
and chants
and an embracing silence
accompanying
the chanting.


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