Saturday, April 16, 2011


 In shadows
we hear mission bells.
rings three times;
even in cars they bow heads,
we all need angels.

The church wall
hides us from killers;
keeps us safe.
I hold you,
even the day keeps secrets,
the old magic fails.

Your white dress
now tattered 
blood splattered;
lying shattered, in honor
broken tiara.

We wait here
victims of terror
your beauty
their scapegoat.
As they exert their power,
we call on angels.

© Gay Reiser Cannon * All Rights Reserved 


  1. Sanctuary and terror both here, the sense of religion's walls as enduring and shattered, the angels able to fight off vandals and not. Made me think of the paper sanctuaries we write, as if the angels they invoke were enough to keep real blood from spilling. The beauty of this poem, of course is time's "scapegoat" -- it endures by not lasting. May the telling of it here remind us all of the shared responsibility we have to offer sanctuary where we can. Very tall and blue and powerful roller here - Brendan

  2. I love Brendan's comment-- and I love this poem. I think of the soiled doves of the Frontier reading this, for some reason-- we have expectations of the church-- especially the dark old mission churches so invite us in but then we are still on the promontories of vulnerability. I know this condition well. Lovely-- Jenne'

  3. Religious house always seems like the place where we can always hide away our inadequacy and run away from our fears, you can't but sometimes sense you have angels or devils for company, you try your hardest to be of best behaviour, a great poem that evokes memories.

  4. The poem itslef offers sanctuary but with limitations. We hear mission bells, but they are not within. We need and call on angels, yet they are not our own.
    But the lines that really challenge the senses are:
    "your beauty
    their scapegoat"...
    That seems to imply a reference to both outer and inner beauty! A fascinating reality poem!

  5. None of us truly understand what it is to have to claim sanctuary for fear of death Gay. The fact you wrote it in shadorma form, a great commendation to your mastery of words. We all need angels, yes, yes we do.

  6. ugh, scary stuff gay...i can just imagine them huddled in there waiting...praying...wondering what is happening ont he other side of the door...come angels.

  7. What a beautiful piece of writing... I feel your connection with the terror of the situation.

  8. Beautifully written shadorma capturing the fear and emotions so well ~ I aim to write poetry as well as you. And as for Mexico, an absolutely awful situation. I can sense their terror in your poem..

  9. We hear news every day of what happens particularly in border towns. The police are either part of the gangs or too terrified to do anything about it. Some weeks up to 40 people are found murdered. Sometimes that can happen in a single night. I have many wonderful friends in Mexico. The cities are plagued by gang wars but usually not involving innocents; however that is not true in border towns like Juarez and Nuevo Laredo where many get caught in the crossfire.

  10. The blog is very good!

  11. Great way to use the form ~ very compelling

  12. So well done, gave me chills !