It is undeniable, when in the embrace of the great pipe organ
At the venerable old Episcopal church on Third Street,
Or wholly encircled by Tiffany-issue stained glass
At St. Joe’s in South Troy (ostensibly the “ironworker’s church”,
But gifted with its invaluable windows through a mixture
Of noblesse oblige, piety, and a certain venal pride)
That there is a presence, a corporeality when the tune rises
From the pipes, be they iron or wholly human in origin,
Which is steadfast and implacable in the certitude of faith.
I’d heard the tune on another occasion,
Some half-dozen blocks north of the gaggle of churches,
Emanating from a squat, red-brick edifice
Which seemed a bit unsure of its own solidity,
As if the trust placed in mortar and block
Was somehow a bit presumptuous.
The voices were reedy, a tad threadbare and careworn,
And the accompaniment was unprepossessing
(A single guitar, perhaps, or an ancient and wobbly Casio
Rescued from the beyond by some kindhearted DPW worker)
And, though the voices were pitchy
And the harmonies a half-step or so amiss,
One hopes that it would constitute an acceptable offering,
Even not having fully shed the cloak of reticence
Which may be so difficult to shed on the road to devotion.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: This piece, such as it is, was inspired to a great extent by this ditty . As an aside, you do need more Bee Culture in your life.