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