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Tuesday, 31 August 2010

A Fall From Grace: A Poem By Pete Marshall


A Fall From Grace
A Poem by Pete Marshall

The swings were still on Sabbath day
with padlocks clasped across the chains
as Father stood on lectern high
he mocked the weaks enduring pain

Whilst in the pew you sat so still
in clothes that covered teenage pride
ensnared by light that shimmered down
and framed your soul in celluloid

The numbered psalm was 23
that spoke of paths of righteousness
but boys would look and make you want
to raise the hem upon your dress

And temperance spied a whisky glass
as sweats would trickle from your brow
you plucked an apple from the tree
as weakness broke your solemn vow

Yet Father watched you from up high
in spittled rants and raging tongue
he laid the ghost upon your soul
and warned the Lord of what you’ve come

***********

This is my poem for One Shot Wednesday, run by One Stop Poetry, a fast growing community for poets & writers of all genres to share their work, express and make friends



image courtesy creative commons http://www.flickr.com/photos/buzzby09/

62 comments:

Claudia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Claudia said...

i have been there (and worse) - and found a way back to a father who was waiting for me with open arms - and i LOVE Psalm 23 - so what i wanted to say - your poem sounds like there is no way back - but there is

anthonynorth said...

This is so very powerful. Excellent.

Eric Alder said...

I'm SO glad I didn't attend a Catholic school.

Very interesting stuff, Pete!

Pete Marshall said...

hi claudia...many many thanks for sharing your comments...i am so glad you found a way back..this poem touched on quite a few things and i hope others who read this can take comfort in knowing what you shared..cheers Pete

Beachanny said...

Ah, Pete leaving Yeats and joining Heaney --and yes, I did attend Catholic school. And, yes was condemned to hell so many, many times. Hope not to burn there. Making reparations, hopefully, as I go. Your work, as I keep saying, just keeps getting better!

Pete Marshall said...

thanks for your comment Anthony..when i wrote this i wanted to convey that power and i hope it has been captured...cheers pete

Dulce said...

Well
I went to a catholic scholl, so!
I am glad my son does not... And 'religion' is not a subject at school for him either... Life is hard enough already

Great poem!
dulce :)

Pete Marshall said...

Hi eric..thanks for your comments..cheers pete

Pete Marshall said...

thanks again beachanny...i hope you have just in the support you give me..cheers Pete

Pete Marshall said...

thanks for commenting dulce..cheers pete

Brian Miller said...

ah i have been condemned to the flames a few times...how easy we can twist the love of on high to get people to follow our religeon...nice one shot pete! you are the man!

Pete Marshall said...

thanks bri...this real misguidance in this piece was the father...you were spot on..cheers pete

senderupwords said...

Powerful doesn't even begin to cover it. This is a great piece of work. Great One Shot. Love and Light, Sender

Pete Marshall said...

thanks senderupwords....there is a lot of powerful references meant in this..cheers pete

signed...bkm said...

oh temptation is there, always there, but the words of the psalm remembered always will remains ..and become the sweetest of comfort we are filled with shame....very nice Peter...beautiful message...bkm

wiganfootie said...

Great brings back memories

patty sherry said...

Awesome reflection of judgment, powerful poem. Sad to me and yet very hopeful. Having been in the position of being judged and coming full circle to let go of judging the judger, I can read your words and not feel the old anger, but instead feel the poem for all its power.

great job!

Pete Marshall said...

hi bkm...a great comment, i appreciate that

thanks wigan and thanks for the amplify too

thanks patty..reading the comments i feel the power of the poem has stirred quite a few people..cheer pete

Neva Flores said...

Pete, such a powerfully touching poem. Bravo!

Monkey Man said...

Other are always there to judge, but that is all so subjective. Great piece, Pete.

PattiKen said...

Very powerful piece, Pete. Having been raised Catholic (it didn't "take"), I have seen this kind of... I can't think of anything polite to call it. But I would remind Father of John 8:1-11 (and I had to look it up): "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone ..."

Amen.

TALON said...

Loved the title and the poem, Pete. Powerful in the images of the fallen and weak being mocked and judged.

n. davis rosback said...

strict and locked

moondustwriter said...

Sad that life and love are so often locked out by the church. Yet those are the true elements of God

nicely done Pete - the locked swings makes me angry

Moon smiles

Mama Zen said...

Wow! This is a really powerful piece.

Bill Cook said...

Very intense. It always saddens me to see the way that something that should be good can get so twisted by those who are supposed to represent it. What should make us more alive and human becomes a repressive inhuman thing. Religion tags into powerful things. Sadly, not always in a way that is healthy and helpful. Thanks for this. - Bill

Maureen said...

There's no mistaking the point of view here and that and the strong imagery that support it make this a successful poem.

Hypocrisy and abuse of power under the guise of the holy. . . deeply saddening.

G-Man said...

Great Poem Pete!!
You Done Good!

Desert Rose said...

I went to a nuns school..french,somehow i believe Religion is a freedom of choice,not a subject or something to be taught in minds.loved your poem.great one shot Pete.

SuziCate said...

Brilliant, love the power and cadence of this.

Glynn said...

I like the juxtaposition of Psalm 23 (Paths of righteousness) with the boys and the dress. Nice one, Pete.

Cor said...

Beautiful poem. How easily one can fall...unless they resist temptation. Great flow to your poem.

ninotaziz said...

I think worldwide, everyone is familiar with Psalm 23, whatever religion.

And we hold on to the message, if not the voice that delivers it now and then...

Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
forever.

Thanks for sharing such a powerful poem Pete.

Christine said...

A brilliant piece. I also went to a convent school and attended mass every Sunday, more out of fear than anything. The hypocrasy of our catholic priest when I was a teenager finally drove me away, but lately I have had a longing to return, and am trying a church here where I now live in the hope things will be much improved. You truely are a great poet.

Christine

Christine said...

Oops! Please ignore the 'e' in truly

Boonie S said...

You draw on some amazingly powerful contrasts. I really enjoy your work.

All the best, Boonie

Rinkly Rimes said...

I am taken back to my teenage years when something similar killed religion for me.....for ever! Clever to put it into words.

Steve said...

Potent subject/word choices, exemplary read.

Vita Wright said...

I'm a heathen, but I must say this is beautifully composed. Very strong imagery, descriptive language. Well done!
VW

lovelyannie79 said...

The image of the locked swings
The temptation

I felt small when reading this...became the teenage girl.

For me, you captured the duality of temptation...feeling shamed and judged...but enjoying the power of temptation or enjoying the temptation.

This duality exists because of those that condemn us to fall from grace...

I like what moondustwriter said about it being sad that what is the essence of god is what is judged and locked out...
you are an amazing poet.

annell said...

I so glad I didn't go there either......

Caty said...

Too many people use religion to pass judgement and to gain power...

Nicely written!

Linda said...

So sad that this is the only way some people ever have God presented to them.

Timoteo said...

Ah, coming of age...brilliant!

John's comments said...

He saw the boy in the pool,a stray lamb,to save while no one saw. In daylight, who notices the collarless wolf in his flock.A godly tale... Thanks for dropping by to read my poem. Hope your week goes well

Pauline said...

love the irony of the "father" warning the Lord of what she's "become..." nicely done

emily wierenga said...

shudders. powerful, friend.

ladynimue said...

*bows to thee*
*applause*

Teresa said...

Oh those on high looking down to judge the poor miserable masses. Suppose HE likes a tattle tale?

kavisionz said...

Aahh.. temptation and its effects!
Yet, there are ways of redemption I believe... do some good, and maybe some of that bad will get nullified (or at least mollified)...

A very well articulated poem, Pete.. .
Bravo!!!

joesuzz said...

intense and provacative. It is a cynical world sometimes, and even proclaimers of what's good stoop to evil so low.

KB said...

Powerfull words. Love the pic too. Thanks for visiting my blog.

Donusho said...

brillaintly written, i like how you captured the contrast between 'righteousness' & what 'we' want to do. Donusho.

Pete Marshall said...

blimey...there have been an amazing amount of comments...generally speaking this poem certainly has hit a chord with you all...thank you everyone for taking the time to visit..normally i would answer each comment individually but i feel i will be at it forever...thanks so much for your support..and thanks also for the plaudits of my work as i dont know if you realise how encouraging these are..cheers pete

Tony Single said...

Fantastic read. I can actually relate to the feelings of the protagonist in this. I was more on her side than that of the "Father". It constantly depresses me how people can be so hateful and crushing towards those who are perceived to be weak. I honestly feel like she was closer to the Divine in her frailty and falleness than the self righteous bloke up the front. That's my take anyway. Fantastic read, Pete.

Pete Marshall said...

hi tony...thanks for that..you really got your teeth into this piece...the father was the person that i was referring to in his fall from grace...as i said in a previous comment he was the misguided one...cheers for commenting pete

mairmusic said...

Woo-- a grim paternal judgment! You do know how to reign the darkness into your words-- great tale!
http://mairmusic.wordpress.com/

Pete Marshall said...

thanks mair..appreciate that..cheers pete

L.L. Barkat said...

"framed your soul in celluloid"

that was cool, both the image and the sound :)

Wild Rose said...

Beautiful oneshot Pete, you know I love reading you and you just made me think of Adam and Eve and the fall from Grace so vividly you paint these images. Thanks for sharing~

Wild Rose~

Pete Marshall said...

hi ll barkatt...glad you picked up on that..was my favourite of lines that piece

thanks wild rose...love your support cheers pete