Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Feast of Saint Creola

We are the adherents,
the Sisters of Saint Creola,
Our Lady of the Falling Piano.

We are a strictly female enclave,
here at the edge of a continent,
at cliffside,
with the surge of the waves below us
and within us.

Today we honor our blessed Saint C.,
she of the fair face and the wise word.
Born in the year 1899, she remains beautiful
in appearance,
in utterance,
and in her endless inspiration of us, her Sisters.

"Soooo, what's chocolate?" she demands in her honey voice,
entering the room like light from a taper.
If the Pope could see us,
in our unconventional garb,
and our unconventional affections,
he would want to be one of us, I feel certain.

Blessed Saint Creola teaches us that God 
is a waitress
in a coffee shop;
an expert at creating chalk menu boards,
and at assuaging that indescribable homesickness
we all carry inside us like some melancholy luggage
we don't know how to set down.

Today there will be blends from Turkey and the Orient;
chocolate from Europe and from two old hippies
who have a store down the coast a little way.
There will be the cerulean sky
and the indigo waves.
There will be the white stucco of our convent,
and the toasted tan of the cliffs,
the high grasses of late summer,
and our warm skins.

Today we celebrate Creola,
living saint and mother hen to all of us.
We are off the grid,
off the radar,
off the chain.
Have a chocolate truffle,
have a Girl Scout cookie.
The sun is right at home in the sky, her hammock,
and the pianos have long ago flown over the cliff 
and into the sea,
like gulls.
_____

for Out of Standard at Real Toads.

20 comments:

Sam Edge said...

Where do I sign up = you rocked this FB.

Kenia Cris said...

Oh geez, this is another amazing piece of yours. I cannot stop begging you to recite something you've written any day. Pleeeeease? Should I demand it as a birthday present??? :P

You are a wonderful poet, Shay.

Kiss. <3

jo-hanna said...

Smashing!
I want to know what face cream she's been using these past centuries.
Love your wayward thinking.

Kerry O'Connor said...

This is beautiful, arcane, blessed and full of good humour. Just a wonderful thing to read.

Jim said...

Oh Wow, Shay! We turned the tables a bit today, didn't we? I like.

And who knows really that God isn't a waitress in a coffee shop right now? Jesus, His Son, said that if yee have done 'it' to the least of these you have done it for Me (paraphrased the best I can remember).

I like the model you picked for the Saint Creola. She reminds me of the hippy girls I once knew, back in the 60's. Or the barefoot young lady I sat beside in one of my Calculus classes in the early 70's at college. She was soooo smart, pretty, and always had her yellow dog waiting for her at the bottom of the stairs of our building.

I doubt if most of us will ever go back. Just sit and wait for poems like yours, act like a dog shaking off water when we read one. Or maybe move to Colorado or Vermont, or even Telluride?
..

TexWisGirl said...

nice. :)

hedgewitch said...

Gorgeous images in this Shay, especially the sixth stanza, with its cerulean sky and toasted tan cliffs, and some amazing lines, like the ones about chocolate, the Pope, and homesickness. While I am not a religious adherent of any specific pantheon, even I can feel Saint Creola's warmth and power in your words. A fine, extremely evocative and expert poem.

G-Man said...

You failed to mention that "Saint Creola" used to live on a commune outside of Eureka California, and she makes her own tofu!

Helen said...

I want to stand on that cliff, ride every wave, join the convent ...

Susan said...

I'll gladly drink at the coffee shop, and feast St. Creola. I've read of her on your blog before. It does a heart good to know such enclaves still exist.

Sioux said...

Shay--When I was a kid, I went through a saint phase...I read all sorts of books about saints, imagined myself Joan of Arc (even though I was NOT Catholic).

Now I know why I found saints so alluring...

Kay L. Davies said...

Yes, you are a wonderful poet, as has already been said here.
My favourite part is:
"that indescribable homesickness
we all carry inside us like some melancholy luggage
we don't know how to set down"

because we all do carry it inside us, somewhere.
Luv, K

HermanTurnip said...

What an uplifting piece. Nice way to usher in a Friday!

"chalk menu boards"

And I've always been jealous of those with an artistic bent who can create new chalkboard art on a daily basis. I tip my deli guy just for doing that! :-)

Cloudia said...

how do i join?




ALOHA from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

=^..^= <3

Grandmother (Mary) said...

God as a waitress in a cafe, chocolate as sacrament, the warmth of sisterhood- all makes this a most attractive religion and a great poem.

Lolamouse said...

When I read the prompt, the only holiday I could conjure was the Feast of St. Creola-no shit, I'm NOT kidding, I actually thought this! Then I decided I'd hope that YOU would write it, and you DID! Perfect, as I expected!

Joanna Jenkins said...

Oh my, my, my. That was fantastic!

"Our Lady of the Falling Piano." So many great lines in this one but I think I liked this the best!

Thanks for making my day.

xo jj

Mama Zen said...

This is a holiday worth having!

Sara said...

I'm not as confident as you about the Pope, but the God I believe in would take off her shoes, dig her toes her warm green grass at that cliff and join the Sisters.

She'd dance with fervor, discarding the weight of judgements, like scarves covering her body. Then, she would eat a few girl scout cookie and a chocolate truffle or two,as she joined the celebration:~)

Isadora Gruye said...

My immediate confession: I want to crawl up into this poem and hang out for a few days. I want to build a pillow fort in this poem and nap a while. My apologies for the delayed response, but I am so happy I dropped by.

Specifically - this one burns so bright, and there are several hallmark moments that will live with me long after I read this piece. "Our lady of falling pianos", what a clever character design.

"Soooo, what's chocolate?" she demands in her honey voice,
entering the room like light from a taper.
If the Pope could see us,
in our unconventional garb,
and our unconventional affections,
he would want to be one of us, I feel certain.

I want to frame this verse, recite it every morning.
Your Saint Creola deserves more than a holiday, she deserves a whole planet! Thaks so much for posting and viva la!