Derek Harper

Breath of Organist

Keys. Fingers. Reach. Half-machine lip moves, open, breathing stone air. Light from a cold sun lands on wheezing wood. Notes swell the rampant chill of church silence. No-one receiving. Emptiness and space filled with the sorrow of absence.

Hands fall in slow motion onto history of submission. Candles poach an inch of warmth throwing a dancing shadow onto Jesus' face. He never asked for it but he got it. Look back in hunger. Dream of walking dust and laughter in tangled rope. Knots of treason, unfurl the flagellation.

Night falls – the moon delivers silver knives through slits of windows. A single voice shouts in a blanket of echo. Every corner hit by the bluntness of bounce. A man stands in a shadow of darkness. Black upon black in the slithering night. He plunges the nails into his own hands. The comfort of transference.

After midnight, the agents of nostalgia stalk bitter floors with sweet colour splashed on walls of yielding flesh. A song of innocence plays on the mouth of obedience. The ceiling reaches beyond the clouds – the breath of the organist floats up to meet them.