This butterfly was an espionage;
coal-black, amber, whiteness
the celestial gaps
letting in light
through leaded windows
where painted saints stand in line.
It did not flutter in the tower’s centrifuge
where the bell tolls no longer
and the staircase
into a hole in the sky.
It did not fly up there,
breathlessly gasping for a vantage point
because it contains a cathedral in its arms.
It is the spy who knows all, will tell all
with dotted antennae so fragile
they could pinpoint
a star, a sun
on a tabernacle,
a revelation in wings unfolding
and flying away
before I can grasp
what this stained glass
and its coloured picture-stories mean.
This poem was written after reading the following article by Brian Taylor http://animistjottings.wordpress.com/2014/08/28/as-summer-fades-memory-image-and-symbol/ then seeing a Red Admiral butterfly outside my house before going to visit St Walburge’s.
As I continue to explore the relationships between the gods and spirits of the land of Britain and the physical, social and religious structures of Christianity I find myself pondering more and more deeply how this place became a home of these strange, fascinating and often brutal Middle Eastern stories, of the stories of saints from across the world. How religion became relocated from the land into these grand edifices. How it all became doctrine and God became the only real and only god.
I’m grateful to live in a time where it’s considered valid to view nature as alive and inspirited, containing its own instrinsic purpose and meaning, to believe in and commune with its many gods. At a time when such questions can be posed and addressed.
I’d be interested to hear your opinions on these complex relationships.