This church felt wrong. I do not say this lightly. Dealers are undertakers of a sort. When a man dies, the undertaker comes for his body, and quite often the dealer comes for the rest. How often I have been left alone to break up the home a man has built up over fifty years, and sell the pieces where I can. As I break up the home, I know the man. I have known a cracked teapot yield enough evidence of adultery to satisfy ten divorce-court judges. I learn that he was mean from his boots; that trapped for ever inside the sepia photographs are seven of his children. From his diary, that he believed in God or the Devil or Carter’s Little Liver Pills. I deal in dead men’s clocks, pipes, swords and velvet breeches. And passing through my hands, they give off joy and loneliness, fear and optimism. I have known more evil in a set of false teeth than in any so-called haunted house in England.

….I couldn’t keep still in that place. It wasn’t just the cold. I thought I’d come prepared for that, with a quilted anorak and three sweaters. No, I kept having, not delusions, not even fears, but odd little anxieties . . . preoccupations. I had the conviction the walls weren’t vertical . . . or was it the floor, that seemed to slope down towards the middle of the nave? Certainly the floor was hollow; no one could walk on it and listen to the echo of his footsteps without realizing that. Then . . . the windows didn’t seem to be letting in as much light as they should. I kept going outside to check if the sky was getting cloudy, but it was still bright and sunny, thank God, and I went back feeling the better for it.

Then I stared at the cross in a side-chapel. It just looked like two bits of wood nailed together. I mean, it was just two bits of wood nailed together; but though I’m not a religious sort, I tend to see any cross as a bit more than two bits of wood nailed together.

And that smell. Or niff, as Henry would have it. It wasn’t strong, but it was everywhere; you never got it out of your nostrils. The only thing I can liken it to was when I got in a new lavatory-bowl at the shop; it had to be left for the sealant to dry overnight, so the builder stuffed wet paper down the hole, but the biting black smell of the sewer filled my shop and dreams all night.

Robert Westall
The Last Day of Miss Dorinda Molyneaux

Faith

October 27, 2019

The former synagogue high above the town
bears a plaque
to say here was where
an old faith flourished and faded

and across the town valley
the Methodist Chapel
hangs on by its fingertips, fading in turn

Forget buildings –
Gods are happiest out of doors,
burning bushes,
strolling the tide from St Ives to The Gribben
and back again

I saw The Eye Of The Wind
blown from Southampton to Falmouth,
counting its losses and setting sail again, godly
to Spain

Penelope Shuttle

it’s street religion

October 6, 2019

Voodou isn’t like that. It isn’t concerned with notions of salvation and transcendence. What it’s about is getting things done. You follow me? In out system, there are many gods, spirits. Part of one big family, with all the virtues, all the vices. There’s a ritual tradition of communal manifestation, understand? Voodou says, there’s a God, sure, Gran Met, but He’s big, too big and too far away to worry Himself if your ass is poor, or you can’t get laid. Come on, man, you know how this works, it’s street religion, came out of dirt poor places a million years ago. Voodou’s like the street. Some duster chops out your sister, you don’t go camp on the Yakuza’s doorstep, do you? No way. You go to somebody, though, who can get the thing done. Right?

William Gibson
Count Zero

God

August 11, 2019

He turned me into an object and I turned him into a god. How sick is that?

Letitia V Gekoski
Little worms

nasty sense of humour

July 21, 2019

Of course, I must say that I don’t think America is God’s gift to anybody – if it is, God’s days have got to be numbered. That God these people say they serve – and do serve, in ways that they don’t know – has got a very nasty sense of humour. Like you’d beat the shit out of Him, if He was a man. Or: if you were.

James Baldwin
If Beale Street Could Talk

A God who smiles down

June 30, 2019

The God I decide to believe in is the God of the bathroom floor. A God of scandalously low expectations. A God who smiles down at a drunk on the floor, wasted and afraid, and says, There you are. I’ve been waiting.

Glennon Doyle
Love Warrior

caution: this poet only speaks in junipers, and seaweed.
only drinks sunlight brewed coffee –
warning: this poet is still searching for a word
to soften the currents in her palms
crawls in to orchards to breathe like the flowers
dancing high on the trees.
this poet breaks open fruits to learn sweetness
is being reckless holy
misdialling Lucifer
to ask for his lost glory.
this poet is creating god from dirt
& feeding sugar to the birds.
creates tenderness out of discarded clothings
and eden out of whispers.
this poets fills her belly with vile creatures
& laughs when they wriggle.
this poet is building castles out of broken temples
is carrying heaven in the darkness of her skin.
this poet is no poet is god made girl
no – this poet is girl made god.

Patricia Camille Anthony

caution: this poet only speaks in junipers, and seaweed.
only drinks sunlight brewed coffee –
warning: this poet is still searching for a word
to soften the currents in her palms
crawls in to orchards to breathe like the flowers
dancing high on the trees.
this poet breaks open fruits to learn sweetness
is being reckless holy
misdialling Lucifer
to ask for his lost glory.
this poet is creating god from dirt
& feeding sugar to the birds.
creates tenderness out of discarded clothings
and eden out of whispers.
this poets fills her belly with vile creatures
& laughs when they wriggle.
this poet is building castles out of broken temples
is carrying heaven in the darkness of her skin.
this poet is no poet is god made girl
no – this poet is girl made god.

Patricia Camille Anthony

The Sunday Morning Laugh

March 10, 2019