Pages

St. Mungo's Cathedral


I. Crypt

Down
in St. Mungo's Cathedral, from medieval
stained glass and high-lit wooden slats:
A cavern for the dead.

Rounded grey ceilings
curve into walls, as if someone
hollowed a boulder, then dug

soft stone from the inside until
nail-mark arches appeared,
easy as scratches

through silty clay, ridges
etched to the last smear.
Plaques and prayer chambers along the sides−

remember who I never knew.
In the center, a stone tomb where
Saint Mungo might have rested is now shrouded

by a quilt and warmed by a
motionless pendant lamp.
Stairs by doorway sunlight, return
upwards.


II. Necropolis

Is it sacrilegious
to photograph graves?
Markers spiral the hillside,
grey dominos pushed into loose earth

that hardened and sprouted
around them. Yellow trees
and emboldened vines twist

the afterlife with autumn drift
and grasp, paths wind
upward

in a dirt-trodden maze.
The golden hour becomes
my blasphemous lens flare.

Some stone monuments tower others,
faded inscriptions and afternoon shade
across reflective puddles. A few dead
rest above ground,

where ancient names
shepherd Glasgow−St. Mungo's
to the right, Victorian smog to the left.

Pause, still human
shadow cast across now empty breath,
then single step
descend. 


-- Trianne H., Adult