Monday, February 15, 2010

Love and lust and holy relics

Here’s my pome, prompted by Total Feckin’ Eejit’s weekly prompt. It’s technically supposed to be inspired by Valentine’s Day thoughts of love and lust and romance, but this is what came out.

The relic

The relic is trapped in a filigreed frame.
My sister, who sent it, swears by its powers.
It comes with a booklet on Gerard Majella,
the patron saint of mothers and mothers-to-be.

When I hold it in my palm the metal pulses
with the sorrow and hope it has witnessed.
I leaf quickly through the booklet
then shove both it and relic in a drawer.

That night we make love, but something’s changed.
Something sacred has slipped from the room.
Urgency has been replaced by tenderness
and the relic lies silent in its drawer.


  1. Oh, this has a touch of the miraculous about it! The movement from stanza to stanza is beautiful, and those final three lines are stunning, mysterious.
    I like this very much, and I've always been a sucker for the incense smell of Catholicism with a twist.

  2. Urgency has been replaced by tenderness
    - is a lovely line - interesting twist on the romance front!

  3. Thanks so much Titus. TFE's prompt sorta took me in a strange direction, but it's great motivation for getting down to the writing, me thinks!

  4. Thanks for visiting Niamh, and for signing up :)

  5. Aww...but hey tenderness is good! I Love your poem! FYI St Gerard I see was born in Basilicata which seems to be a very special place in Italy, and strange things seem to happen there. I read a lovely book by a travel writer David Yeadon called "Seasons in Basilicata" you might like it?

  6. Good one! It got me googling St Gerard, too.

  7. Oh, this IS about love! Very good! Now, I'm off to check out St. Gerard, too.

  8. Moira, thanks for reading. I'm very intrigued by the sound of that book - might go and google it, along with all the other poets I'm learning about through the Bus.

    Holy Moly is right, TFE.

    Dominic, thanks for visiting. It's not quite as romantic as yours, but religion is the next best thing, right?

    Karen, Thank you! I'd never heard of St Gerard myself until about six months ago - apparently he's a well kept secret amongst mothers-to-be . . .

  9. and off i go to the wikipedia page! lol. i'm fascinated by all these saints and medals and atuff so this had me from the get go

  10. Thanks for visiting swiss. I'm off to yours now - went there a couple of days back and got lost - couldn't find last week's poem anywhere - and all I could remember was that I'd liked it.

  11. I like the idea of the relic pulsing with all the "sorrow and hope it has witnessed". Makes you wonder if objects, if handled enough by people with strong emotions, acquire something and maybe become just a bit magical. Very nicely paced and not a word wasted anywhere. Great stuff!

  12. Thanks so much Argent. I think you're spot on about objects absorbing energy from people - particularly relics like the one above.