Saturday, 17 August 2019

Lady Chapel, Ely Cathedral.


There’s no purifying fire, though it’s source, the sun
blazes, somewhere, out of sight,
just purifying light.
The blue above The Fens, Prussian, lapis lazuli, azure,
scattered in the atmosphere, 
contrasting with the grey-gold-white
of limestone lamella, hymenophore,
pours through plain panes, making things clear.

The stone crowd, once gathered in niches, is no more.
There’s only Modern Mary, plump in pleated  gown,
as if months have passed since she conceived,
arms raised to Heaven, eyes down.
And only a few living souls stand, stunned,
gazing in awe,
struck, not by stained, chromatic decoration,
but by destruction, desecration, 
which yet seems cure,
a counterintuitive restoration,
not just of faith in God,
but in the superior skills and determination, 
of men who believed,
though so much of what they achieved
is no longer there.
Now there is only clarity
what is left, laid bare,
peace, calm
flooding through each warped, transparent plane,
creating here and there a lens,
Magnificat Dominum
pouring through
this ‘Ship of the Fens’
this miracle of the warpland plain,
this place, whose space was ever pure,
so that we’re bathed by balm 
the grace that spills across each embrasure.




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