• poetry

    yours for Good Friday

    This video, with Ellyn Peirson’s poetry set to Stefano Lentini’s Stabat Mater is intended to bring Good Friday into your heart and home.  It has been made without any kind of rehearsal and certainly not a dress rehearsal!  You can join in by playing your volume tuner!  Blessings to you all as we think of ourselves in the time of Covid19, Italy, because of our Italian connection and Stefano Lentini’s sublime Stabat Mater and the people all over the planet. Be well… and let your home protect you. The poetry is available for you to read below…

    some voices from the crucifixion
    ~ for contemplation ~
    The voice of A TODAY MADONNA
    The voice of THE MADONNA
    The voice of THE BETRAYER
    The voice of THE CROSS
    The voice of THE MADDALENA
    The voice of THE ROMAN CENTURION
    The voice A TODAY MADONNA - Monica
    newly bereft, she passes the scratched grocery store buckets,
    deceptive sophistication, yellow tulips
    yearning. they
    reach out – immortalize me, all ye who
    labour and I will give you rest for your
    soul. you yearn, too – from where you’ve been
    placed, your own
    bucket.  desire and empty
    ness collide –
    was that her dead son’s voice? –
    immortalize me. forever make me
    yours and I will give you rest. reciprocity, the recip
    rocity of beauty and heavy-laden
    how will you keep my
    greens in myriad shades and not let
    them droop and fall flat against some glass
    vase – perhaps lalique, translucent green with
    dancing goddesses pressed in and running
    over – no cutting and vases, give the resurrected soil
    and roots
    and how will you notice and nourish
    my yellow petals, kissed with
    the red of God’s lips? will you
    hear Haydn playing his sonata no. 29 in the back
    ground – so sadly light and airy, the chaconne of
    the yellow tulip red-tinged, tulipred, crimsonred. chaconne of the son’s
    blood, second Isaac.
    for it is
    now Lent.  and I am but
    another Christ to be slain… this is my body, this is
    my blood given, my tulipblood, for you. take
    and see that i am another sacrifice.  you stare and
    wonder (others have been
    crueler) – will you buy a few palm branches perhaps
    for effect, that table possibly or a window…
    take me into your heart, paint me into
    canvas for a generation to say, my mother painted that lovely
    little still life (still, still with me when purple breaks)… she had a
    nice talent… that’s why I keep it, keep it, hosanna hosanna, green
    grow the palm trees, oh!
    the grieving mother bends and see souls… open
    up, take me in, understand this lent is for you, this greater love is
    because of you. she
    steps back and opens her designer bag.
    digitalclick. Lent downloaded.  she goes on her palm-branch strewn hosanna way.
    oblivious, loveblind…
    and yet…
    she leaves with another opening to
    he calls out – see me in the resurrection that is coming – and i will come again in
    the new bursting and melodious garden where red buds
    sing and birds, green and purple, write music for all who are
    heavy-laden… yellow symphonies and violet nocturnes to be
    played wherever spring creates its perpetual in
    over there…
    beside that large impalpably pulsating
    stone, moved, i am
    born again
    this time only the sunbeams
    for radiation in the holy
    the voice of THE MADONNA - Claudia
    How am I to approach this walk with you? How am I to bear it?
    You ask too much of me. 
    I will not, cannot let this happen.
    ... I will not walk into your death ... 
    Am I, who laboured fiercely to give you life, now 
    required to labour impossibly... cruelly... to let you die?  No! 
    No! This was not the promise of conception—the reason for my song. I
    sang of the magnified heart, the praising heart, and, oh, the loving
    Do you remember our shared songs?
    You see, I cannot walk into your death ... it is too early,
    senseless, purposeless.  Oh, my son, my joy, 
    unkindness has weighed you
    down.  Where is the kindness to lift you up.
    There is none, dearheart, in Pilate’s corruption.
    Let me protect you and sing to you.
    Let Passover pass!
    Please! Do not speak through your eyes to 
    me.  I cannot bear what you say.
    I cannot walk into your death.
    I will but follow you wherever you go. 
    You ask too much of me. 
    The voice of THE BETRAYER - Henry
    It’s gotten out of hand
    dear God, I didn’t mean for it to go this far astray
    I pray, I do, I pray
    as you did last night, take this from me, this role that is not me, forced on me
    until I am judged for eternity and no one knows me
    Dear Lord, my Lord—I’m driven by love for you—no more, no less but
    more my Lord… more, more than all of the others, I love you more,
    enough to force your hand, bring you into
    your power
    Force all of them—Lord, the haters, the hypocrites—force them to see
    you, fall down worship—oh, take your kingship, my Lord… take, take
    It’s gotten out of hand,
    for thirty pieces.
    That was not the point—dear Lord, my Lord—you were the point.
    Messiah—we’ve waited so long and I know, I know
    who you are—more than anyone, I know
    the prince of peace—but no!—of power not peace, thirty
    peaces of power I don’t want them; I did it for you—
    That’s all, my Lord—for you
    Could you not stay with me—with me—your twinned soul,
    Our souls overwhelmed with sorrow,
    could you not stay
    with me?  oh, my Lord, take this cup from me!
    bitter wine
    pressed from sweat – blood money.
    and I am seen
    for eternity as the one who
    did not love You!
    did not love you? dear God,
    I’ve loved and known you more than the others –
    given up my place beside you to force others
    to see!
    And so, as it is written—and not written
    understood and never understood, known, breathed, loved and—
    that is my penalty, judgment, death unknown in my love,
    I am every man, every woman
    for whom you die.
    We die—you and I—Saviour and sinner.
    So comes your betrayer, lover, on feet bound in
    the swaddling clothes of destiny, the seamless robe
    of your mother’s love, she who knows me and
    yet leaves me to my task
    and when I join you—when you die for me as I
    die, die, die and am judged for eternity, am swallowed up
    in death… remember me when you come into your kingdom
    as every man and every woman
    we have all done this, Lord, not only I
    not only I
    the hour is near
    dear God, my God and Saviour,
    the hour is at hand
    remember me, remember me
    it’s gotten out of hand
    the voice of THE CROSS - Doug
    After my millennium of waiting, yearning, desiring to
    know my destiny
    so that I could enter it
    fulfill it, be fulfilled—
    I approach you through my death—
    So that you may die here—
    fallen free-falling into hell and back, follying—death-free; bonds-free.
    I see, I feel
    the blows, the pounding nails driven-riven
    senseless hands
    closed minds
    hardened hearts
    the very hands, minds, hearts
    for which you approach me.  willingly.
    and I will cradle you.  soften the blows, absorb the blood—
    drink it if I must, I rootless now—
    and accept your surrender
    as you are torn in two from top to
    and wombkind is restored, forgiven, unriven
    immersed in crimson reconciliation. immaculate now in your extinguished light
    and i am but Golgothan firewood
    having known you
    dead while you bear
    the world’s weight
    the voice of THE MADDALENA - Theo
    Dare I approach you who approach me?
    the stones scorching coals beneath my feet, searing me boneward approach me! oh, pick me up and burn me homeward
    salve rex, save me… disregard my early indifference
    son of carpenter, son of god almighty father, carpenter, great first-created –
    worker of all things wooden
    carving souls, craving souls
    your eyes probe, pierce – until healing, salty waters gush…
    your blood spills oh wash me, should I wash your feet again?
    Those crushed feet, pinned together by one nail…
    dear Father, save your Son!
    it matters not in this timeless approach
    to eternity that you are probed, pierced, pinned up for display
    no! – let your hands whittle and shape, smooth my approaching soul –
    never have I been so known -
    pluck and crush the purple olive, purple grape
    they hold eternity in their skins. anoint – press your wine and oil into my petition – my forehead, palms are charred… black with the burning
    ashes, washes
    I healed, you stigmatized.
    I whole, you broken oh, let me anoint you again, oh, let me pour spikenard until none is left on earth, and you are my alabaster vessel
    forever fragrant
    you fall
    rough ground now pooled with blood and my shaped-soul draws back aghast
    I hear distant thuds – nails pounded pounded pounded
    until my head splits, chest crushes
    wooden beams too much for me to bear
    yet… you bear the wood you love – what medium have you left? the wood you love killing you. you heaving it – it cleaving you
    the hill of dancing skeletons appears and you fall again – another lifts your crossbeam
    you smile weakly.
    wipe the blood from your neck, your mother cries out – oh, my son, my son you turn to her, you inhabit each other’s eyes.
    the wood you love will hold you up naked, crowned, shattered splattered against the heavens
    and I wait,
    breathless, for you were my breath for that brief time I believed, and loved. am I now to let you agonize, harden my heart into rock? so that you can be framed, painted, idolized, idolatrized and held against the purple and crimson sky until with one great gasp, you die.
    I die
    we die
    you lift me into the fractured heavens and as you empty, you forgive
    and I live for I inspire as you expire into me your perfect passion – artist, medium and lover
    And I shall wash your feet, dear friend of all weeping women—
    Salome, Joanna and Mary and Mary – myrhhbearers. 
    We, eyewitnesses, silenced now, free now
    broken bent, shattered crushed like my heart again
    Mary? – Henry’s voice
    At the third hour
    Jesus cried out
    for the second time in
    a loud voice, 
    And then he released his spirit.
    At that moment
    the curtain of the temple in Jerusalem
    was torn in two from top to bottom. 
    The earth shook, the rocks split in a
    cacaphony of sound and fragments
    such as had never been heard before by
    anyone there,
    many ran screaming and some fell on the ground as
    though it could protect.
    And it was over.
    prophet to the Centurion - Ben
    At noon, darkness fell over the world – 
    a cool, quiet, creeping darkness until
    the mockers made fun of Jesus
    and broke into the obscurity –
    If you’re the King of the Jews
    then save us from the Romans…
    And the darkness covered every
    one and everything
    until the third hour…
    The voice of THE ROMAN CENTURION - Dave
    it was just another bloody, bone-crushing
    crucifixion typical
    of Skull Hill’s pre-Passover executions.  Who knew
    there were so many
    manifestations of pain and
    dying?  Except for this one…
    this one… this quiet Galilean, mocked by
    his own and my own.
    Laughed at.  Taunted.  Forced to wear a crown of
    thorns so that by 
    the time I saw him, little
    rivulets of blood had found their
    way into
    his eyes and down his cheeks into
    the corners of his mouth.
    And all he complained about…
    the centurion was overcome and lay
    down on a robe he had been carrying.
    He gathered his thoughts from
    the dust. And from
    inside his head, he
    called out to his gods
    all he complained about was to quietly catch my
    attention.  I thirst,
    he said. Two words – two words –
    and never have I
    been so completely
    known.  Wrapped in a smile
    of love and compassion –
    for me.  They called it all his
    He stood and threw the robe around his
    shoulders.  The Jew’s mother had woven it for her son with
    Time’s needles and Love’s yarns.  And now it is mine – mine!
    One exquisite piece, won fairly with the dice.
    Why do I feel so frightened, then?  What is the shadow I
    feel?  There were voices immediately before the earthquake, voices of 
    shock and pacification – the Jew spoke to one of the thieves,
    and the temple veil was rent and heaven and earth shook.
    Darkness fell.
    He’d called out in agony, not of pain, but of utter, obscure desolation:
    “My God! My God! Abba! Father! Why have you forsaken me?”  He screamed it –
    “Eli Eli lama sabachthani?” – until it circled his thorny crown and met itself, becoming
    complete. Had he gathered all the voices outside the wall into
    his throat?
    Had the earthquake shuddered in behind his scream that split the veil.?
    Had he
    willed the absolute oblivion of all commotion?
    Had he
    created pure stillness?
    What was the old psalm? Ah yes…
    “be still and know that I am God.”
    Had he brought God to earth?
    By Jupiter, the quietness after was dense.  And yet a clarity was mine –
    I would help his uncle Joseph, of Arimathea, take the body to his grave. 
    Surely this man was the Son of God.

  • newsletters

    what colour is the soul?


    what colour is the soul?
    what colour is…
    By Ellyn Peirson
    Photo book

    I’ve created a photobook on the colour of the soul. If you’d like to visit it – it’s rather lonely in its new spot on the web – just tap the image above (on the red print) … enjoy your meeting!

  • books

    in a few words

    ah, the passing of childish things… how well I remember learning to cursive write with pen and ink in Grade two…

    At least in our city, and probably the whole of Ontario, cursive writing has been abandoned by the Boards of Education.  How very short-sighted and suppressive of those who purport to promote the best for children in their educational experience.

    As the child grows and learns in many subject areas, so the personality and individuality gradually become evident through the completely unique handwriting of each student.

    Print script is the digitalization of the personality.

    Print script is the suppression of creativity.

    Here’s a fascinating outline handwriting’s history: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cursive

  • headlines


    This conception of Eleanor of Aquitaine has long fascinated me. She and King Henry are placed at the foot of the cross and she is presented as Mary Magdalene is often presented in crucifixion scenes. Perhaps you have a hunch or two?

    the consequences of evolution
    File source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Eleanor-of-Aquitaine-Poitiers-Cathedral-Window.jpg
  • poetry

    how to say



    Listen to Glenn’s poem, “How to Say,” set to music by Jeff Enns and sung by Jennifer Enns-Modolo, with Loren Shalanko at the piano:

    How to say
    (May 24, 2009)

    The way to say “I love you” to someone
    is to say “I love you” to that person
    This has come to my attention
    “I love you” means “I love you”
    and merits
    being said
    to the person
    for whom you feel that love

    Various gestures and clipped phrases
    do not
    say “I love you”

    As lovely as a home-cooked casserole
    or cheque for some needed money
    or gift certificate for an indulgence
    and is loving, nurturing, caring

    It is not the same as saying
    “I love you”
    it is not

    “Love ya”’ or “You’re my girl”
    or “You’re the best wife, mother, daughter”
    or some Hallmark equivalent
    nice and perhaps true

    But it is not the same as saying
    “I love you”

    Do not mistake a gesture for the
    declaration of love
    nor heavy sentiment for its
    clear articulation

    Do not misjudge the brevity
    of our existence
    in missing the opportunity to say
    “I love you”

    Nor misjudge the simplicity of the
    clear statement
    with empty blathering, over-repetition
    to meaninglessness

    Do not wait until your voice has dried
    and your sunken eyes
    mournfully cry “I love you”

    Do not wait until your deathbed
    or someone else’s

    Do not give expression to love
    in the heat of passion
    nor as an act of contrition

    Like any real gift, give expression
    freely, under no duress,
    with no sense of obligation
    or awkward burden

    Tell all those that you love
    that you love them
    not just your spouse, your lover,
    your beloved

    Tell them now or certainly soon

    Say to each person that you truly love,
    where your mutual love
    is a bond beyond
    the nature of an ordinary relationship,

    “I love you”

    For the only way to do this
    I know
    The only way to say “I love you” to someone
    is to say “I love you”