I sit in the plaza outside the hermitage.
In the clear light of the midday sun.
A few benches are placed for relaxation.
From one of these I ponder on the building I see.
A not insignificant structure with few windows.
Great thick stone walls encrusted in white paint.
A large wooden door which remains closed.
But opened on Sunday mornings for the Mass.
To one side there is a small hollow .
A garden with orchids, magnolias and roses.
They sit in the shade of a few palm trees.
With flambouyant trees a flame of red flowers.
Not far away there are three wooden crosses.
The one in the centre larger than the others.
An arch overshadows them from the glaring sun.
Inside the holy portals of the hermitage we enter.
To behold an inner sanctuary where once a monk lived.
A hermit who spent his days and nights in solitude and prayer.
The hermitage sits on a small hillock overlooking the ocean.
Perfect for meditation and contemplation.
A basic if not modest dwelling in isolation and quietude.
Now it is the local parish church with a local following.
The interior adroned with icons and statues.
Amidst flickering candles and votive lights to the saints.
A frescoe above the altar depicting the Last Supper.
From hermitage to church retaining its sanctity.
A witness for centuries of a faith steadfastly held.
By one individual monk and now the many.
Fri 26th May 2023 15:20
Thank you to all who liked and commented on this poem. The setting for this poem is a five minute walk from where I live.
Thank you all again,
Thu 18th May 2023 22:26
A beautiful, serene poem, Keith, which I really enjoyed. Thank you.
Thu 18th May 2023 14:04
Beautiful poem Keith. I felt the tranquility of the old place reading it; you described the old hermitage/church in such fine detail. Hey Uilleam, another lapsed Catholic here (so many of us!) We now attend an Episcopalian church here in Calif. (yaaah England!). The Episcopalian church is in an old building with high arched wooden beams and soft light from colored stained glass windows. Just walking in there makes me feel peaceful. People love the building so much that it has been moved to different parts of town 3 times to avoid being torn down in the face of new development, and it was repaired after serious fire damage from a kid playing with matches. So much history and spiritual seeking; you captured it beautifully, Keith.
Uilleam Ó Ceallaigh
Thu 18th May 2023 10:11
Thank you Keith.
I'm no longer a practising Catholic, however during my walking trips in Spain and France,, I found solace and tranquillity in the many churches along the way.
I still hanker after the spiritual "discipline" and simplicity which frenetic modern life seems to erode.
Thu 18th May 2023 08:06
A fine description of the peace and of the history of the place, Keith. Thank you.
Wed 17th May 2023 16:39
I am not a religious man but I have to admit that when on holiday a visit to a church is often on the agenda for some reason.
There is a certain presence in such places as monasteries, abbeys, hermitages, etc and I am usually impressed with the tranquility in those places.
Keith your wonderful description above exudes some of those characteristics and the perpetual ongoing routines and uses of these oasis of calm. Well done!
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