Oriental

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By Rhett Engelking

Alone on foot I left one night to pray
The evening shepherded me on my way
toward elucidation and those who’d pay
to keep services scheduled this Friday

In line were some who’d seen it all before
Hypocrites, who plagiarize the Scriptor
Some from obligation yet even more
some quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore.

I came tonight for enlightenment
I cannot afford but pay every cent
For sights unseen or just for the scent
of my church. A smell that soothes like ointment

I unload my burdens I cleanse myself with water
I tread my path with help from the usher
The journey’s long, but bends toward an altar
The organ sounds are fervent yet familiar

The seats are a salaaming Muslim nation
The walls six Buddhas in meditation
I stand gazing up in silent veneration
Of the cathedral ceiling reverberations

The doors close, all light and sound dissolve
A light pierces through this blackened resolve
Two scarlet waves part and a voice bawls
“La lenguaje del cine es universal”

Rhett Engelking is the Franciscan Earth Corps Program Director. To learn more about the Franciscan Film Society, an Earth Corps program that incorporates Franciscan spirituality in film, click here.

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Published in: on March 7, 2014 at 12:03 pm  Comments (1)  
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  1. […] to generate epiphanic experiences in the viewer. A self-proclaimed cinephile, in college I wrote a poem about this experience of God during my visits to a Milwaukee independent theater. I love the […]


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