©2012, Olan L. Smith
A pastor’s study is a lonely abode
In a hollow haven of mortared bricks laid
Atop one another in rows, a graveyard to one side,
Last adieus given nearby in respite, yet
Uneasy spirits roam the halls and classrooms
In quest of a passage to life; in anguish
Writhing agony desires their present heeded,
Voices saying, “We are; take note for our presence is unfilled.”
Every moan of floor boards, mice clamoring and
Foundation settling while a minister studies ―
His living mind misplaced in cluttered books and papers strewn,
The word of gods on his lips; his pen moves to lay down deep convictions,
Without forewarning an earsplitting collapse of books is regarded,
Reflective manifestations are shattered in stillness.
His heart leaps ― it hammers a brawny beat ― his respiration heightens,
Rapidly, pores open and astringent perspiration becomes a deluge on his brow
Dripping upon fresh documents, discoloring dark blue words indelibly etched.
Out of deeps of alpha waves his brain is startled to beta
Wakefulness and he ponders, “My God; am I alone?” The resonance
Comes from beneath his feet, surely a collapse of a sacred library.
“Shelves have surely failed, their timber aged have breathed
Their last and gravity has prevailed hurdled their contents to a hardened
Floor,” deep in the bowels of this holy place, “Surely, ‘tis the source
Of such a deafening din, an hour’s labor of gathering tomes and
I will be back to build my sermon.” His spirit eases
As logic prevails, “’Tis only unseen books spread upon the floor;”
He reassures his conscious judgment, “’Tis nothing more.”
He rises and departs his study; he feels alone in his loneliness, a
Mouse’s whisper would be deafening in this empty refuge.
Passing classroom doors he saunters his path leading to a solitary stairwell;
Abruptly, inches to his left their doors unnerve pushing outward
Then in, and out again. An unheard voice shouts louder than words,
“I am here! Come visit me, view my countenance, feel my embrace.
I am living death and I come for you this day, shall we play?”
The pastor turns; his judgment races, “What could cause such a thing? Surely,
‘Tis air pressure, nothing more.” He releases its doors to reveal
All windows are tightly sealed by layers of paint and age.
“Hmmm, what sort of evil lurks nearby, perhaps someone has entered,
A furnace has discharged its vents but silence he greets
A cold chill of pure nothingness encompasses him; he is unaccompanied.
He traverses down into its underbelly ― “’Tis fallen books, nothing more.”
He opens gates within the belly of the beast and searches for collapsed volumes,
Alas, he discovers naught, no library, no textbook upon floor; he is companionless.
Ascending staircase he enters his study and a silent voice speaks,
“I am here, thank you for participating in my leisure ―
I ask for nothing more.”