I walked the aisle

I walked the aisle

Week after week   I walked the aisle
incense breathing   at altar kneeling
to take Christ's body   on tongue laid
by hands fresh-laved   and holy seeming
felt one with godhead   from world lifted
Green-vested priest   gold-embroidered
slew that seeming   is secrets outed
piercing penis   poisoned children
Can shitten shepherd   show God's way?
I waive the wafer   wander lost
shudders fling shards   of shattered joy.



Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 


Murray Alfredson

Some might think this poem was sparked by the case of Cardinal George Pell, who was convicted of oral rape of two altar boys in St Patrick's Cathedral, Melbourne.  Not so, it was actually provoked by the conviction (overturned on appeal) of Archbishop Wilson of Adelaide, for failing to report sexual abuse to the NSW police.   I wished, however, to enter the reaction of a Catholic layperson to the whole phenomenon of child sexual abuse.  Such a poem will necessarily focus on the Catholic Church.  However, the intention is more genera, since sexual abuse of children is far from limited to the Catholic Church.


I have written in standard alliterative metre, as used by Enlish poets from the Old English period into the twentientieth century, and now into the twnty first.  Both JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis have written on this verse form (Tolkien also wrote in this form.  I understand he also gave advice when consulted to WH Auden).  I intend at some stage to revise into one essay two short essays I once wrote on alliteration.

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