Anne Sutherland Painting

Painting by Anne Sutherland.

Painting by Anne Sutherland.

The Unitarian

Two centuries now, this edifice
of Mankind ‘s reach to heaven
Towers above the hilly mass of town –
Cap of golden dome enrapturing island light.

Apart from Main Street, quietly edifying
Yet, out at sea,
a landmark to cheer the heart –
Down scores of rising, ebbing tides.

Time told by sound and sight
from out the church ‘s white shingled walls
recalls one to the present.
Births a moment ‘s ponder –
Past assumed necessities.

Betimes, reminds of monumental days –
Bell docking from Portugal ‘s distant shore
First pealing call for unity
Installation of minutely measured time
Warning notes ringing through flame-lit skies
Echoing clangs on shipwrecking stormy nights
Family days, some lonely sad, some ever so glad.
On stepping into hallowed, heightened space
where nature wraps its dappled panes,
a sense of wonder at humanity ‘s
true uncharted waters –
Steers the mind toward communal reflection.

One sits with others, diffused,
outside standard caste of week.
Propelled by ancient words of justice –
to share a sense of oneness.

Shedding cloak of being.
Each a feathered oar of harmony
Wound in a spool of right –
As organ luffs the tonal message.

Wafting in our goodness
 ’til through the door we step away.
Our paths diverging –
Beyond that threshold.

Looming behind our backs
Embedded island sanctuary
In silence waits –
A deeper understanding.

– Frank J. Cunningham