The Cathedral – A Poem & Dedication

Clouds Over Christ Church Cathedral

Introduction: This poem was written while listening to Lindsey Stirling’s piece called “Shadows” This poem was originally much longer and went on for pages as this music is nothing but pure inspiration, but for the sake of time and my aching hand now, here is what I saw while listening to this song.

Please be sure to listen to the piece before or after reading this to understands the intensity and flow of my words. (Click link above)

I am dedicating this poem to her. Her music has literally transformed my way of viewing the violin. Absolutely amazing.

The small pub
Overcrowded with
Clinking pints
And banter
The thick air
growers heavier
with smoke-
She backs out of
The spot light-
She slips out
Into the cold night
Leaning back
And sends a
Silent prayer
To a starless sky

Without warning
Lightning strikes
Barefoot she races
Down the road,
Cold cobblestone
That echoes her
Heartbeat, like an
Internal tempo,
And stops at the
Long staircase
of the Cathedral-
Unsure of
its welcome.

Shattered skies decide
For her and
Once inside-
She wanders
Down the center isle
Row after row of
Empty seats
Dimly lit by the
Deep glow of
Stained glass windows

She heads for
The chancel
Cold fingers fumble
And struggle to
Light a match
Finally, a spark catches
As she lights
One candle.

Amused, she smiles
By its confidence
She taps her foot
While the little
flame dances
And from the far
Corner of her eye
She catches a glimpse
Of movement

With an epiphany-
Like lightning
She quickly
lifts her chin
To embrace
her companion
And gives a nod
to her shadow-
To begin.

By Gretchen Leary 2013


About Gretchen Venters

I am 36 years old and I live in Montana. God has set my soul on fire to serve others through writing.
This entry was posted in Dedications, Music, Poetry and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to The Cathedral – A Poem & Dedication

  1. Mary says:

    I love violin music. Smiles. This poem is quite a journey….from the pub through the streets during a thunderstorm and then into the cathedral. Love the ending….which is really a beginning!

  2. brian miller says:

    ha. well i read it to coltrane and miles davis…and that works as well….love the playfulness with the candle and nod to the shadow…..really cool bit of story telling in this….

    • Always look forward to your comments! Ha. What a rebel. Lindsey’s piece “Shadows” made me envision this story. It was a powerful story for me as well. Old Ireland is what came to mind πŸ™‚

  3. I really like this, Gretchen! The nod is the perfect touch and ending!

  4. I can’t imagine needing to add to this beautiful imagistic poem, Gretchen. It’s so true that music has such power to inspire, as your poem proves.

  5. claudia says:

    so cool…love where the music took you..a whole story in this…a bit of magic in her walk…so cool…

  6. ManicDdaily says:

    So cool to dance with one’s shadow – wonderful moods here. k.

    • Thankyou! Have you seen the music video on YouTube for her piece “Shadows”? It was so inspiring but I wasn’t sure where this poem/story was going for me personally until I realized the deeper meaning of self confidence in the words and how my character felt more satisfied to play for an empty church than for a waiting audience and the comfort she felt in that grand cathedral πŸ™‚

  7. kaykuala says:

    A short walk from pub to the cathedral but a long journey of inspiration and hope. The weather can sometimes be a companion in deciding the future. It’s how we can recognize the opportunities! Nicely Gretchen!


  8. Bodhirose says:

    I like that she found sanctuary in that cathedral in more ways than one. Like with herself…love that cool ending.

  9. nico says:

    Some fine lines here, I really like the feel of the 4th stanza. I listened to a bit of the music that inspired this, and I must say–your poem stands alone, fully acceptable on its own merits. Just like your cathedral-playing performer!

  10. Nice story telling ~ I like that she found a sanctuary and her shadow in the Cathedral ~

  11. Really enjoyed this, what a lovely tribute, she is such a creative talent…I loved your words and her music…very theatrical. thank you:)

    • She is amazing and thank-you for the compliment on my poem. I wrote it down as a story first while listening to the piece on repeat for hours and then broke it down into a more poetic format. Took longer than any other poem so far to date. πŸ™‚

  12. Zouxzoux says:

    I love how the playful tone turns to quiet meditation. Lovely work.

  13. Kelvin S.M. says:

    …I have always wanted to learn violin & piano… I took lessons back when i was younger but didn’t last long…hopefully i may find more chance to continue a postponed passion these days… Beautiful tribute to such a lovely talent & music…smiles…

  14. brian miller says:

    hiya….nice to go back to this one…and this time i listen to your music rather than mine…it def has a very quick pace to it…lots of action and energy…and i rather like the dance with the shadow in the end…we all have to find our place and our partners in this dance..

  15. heidi says:

    Hey Gretchen! Nice post to the prompt. I like the images you drew from the music. I think I may have to listen to more Lindsay Sterling.

  16. This is wonderful, Gretchen. Very vivid and fast paced. Nice!

  17. zongrik says:

    when she taps her foot, and the flame dances, do they do it to the same rhythm?


  18. Rowan Taw says:

    Nice imagery – I felt like I was walking with her.

  19. GRETCHEN! Thank you, thank you, for introducing me to Lindsey Stirling. I just subscribed to her channel on YouTube.
    Your poem was breathtaking. I understand fully why the video should be viewed before the poem. That magical moment of the flame’s dance… damn, amazing. Love, AMy

  20. claudia says:

    smiles…i love how the shadow detaches from her only to start communicating..enjoyed the re-read and very cool music as well

  21. MarinaSofia says:

    Oh, Gretchen, what a wonderful way to capture the preparation for the music, or the start of anything creative (even more so when it’s transitory).

  22. kkkkaty says: your story that could go on and on…and the music…like the skinny form, too..

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