LEISTON ABBEY – Founded in 1182.

LEISTON ABBEY – Refectory Window
Our baptism of fire, to be rescuers, occurred in 1997.
Appropriately it seemed in a place of peace, of baptism and seeming 
spiritual strength, but we found it had become the victim of dreadful 
and deadly dissolution in 1536.

Four intrepid travellers
wanderers in a weary world,
feet in this and reaching for the next
we became the bridges in between.

Peering into the past,
reaching into ruins,
searching for tenacious truth,
feeling for a furbished future.

Another ruined Abbey.
The altar stands alone,
alone in space and time
a choir of shadows and silent songs.

Soon each in our separate ways
begin to feel, to see, to hear.
(Stones hold their memories tight)
De-glazed windows still allow the light
and portals provide openings to pathways old.

Story lies are written bold 
and signed in gold for all to see,
but hold a softer story 
than the truth when it is found.

Bright morning held the prospect
stepping with concern in cloisters old,
respectful footsteps light 
became weighed with unknown heaviness.

The legend tells that ordained monks
were rehoused in other holy places,
but looking down … our feet were stuck
in pools of blessed blood.

Suddenly the silence spoke
the unthinkable, the unbearable broke
We heard the screams, felt their pain
the visions were too sorrowful to see.

Stained white and black habits
Their mutilated bodies spilled
precious essence on the hallowed ground
as angels cried and mourned aloud.

When we four came together again
refectory became the place of tears,
hugs and temporary consolation
at least for us, for a while. 

The once sombre grey slabs 
stained with their sweat and blood
now replaced with green
we saw turned to darkened red.

Feeling their fears and maimings
wetted by our own tears, nothing
compared to their fate from faith
dreadful deaths, hovering wraiths.

On return to our lodging for the night
in the midst of our meal
in our own simple refectory
the Abbot found us by the auric light.

'Help us, help me and the brothers'
he cried in desperate anguish.
'We did no wrong, please help us, 
we are lost. Can you guide us home ?'

So the gift was brought to the fore
through the same refectory window
we answered their call, their plight,
we called the light.

With patient prayer and careful coaxing
their consciousness was turned. 
They were directed back to love
to the rightful place of asking.

We were left drained and tearful
no further appetite for more repast,
but we were grateful to have brought 
to brothers across the ages, peace at last.

In love and faith Hanukah.

We returned to Leiston later and found it rescued and refreshed, 
a pleasant place with no hint of its dreadful past. 
The picture of the refectory window was used thereafter as the portal 
to send those lost in limbo back to the light.

About David

Devonian writer
This entry was posted in POEMS and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to LEISTON ABBEY – Founded in 1182.

  1. David this is a wonderful story of Spirit Recue, and so happy to see that their souls were reunited once more with the Light..
    Your poem is a true account of those terrible times when Abbeys were raided and murders took place many buildings being touched and burned to the ground.. Rufford Abbey in Nottinghamshire was also such a place.. On visits there myself I feel that unsettled presence.. as I say a prayer for all who suffered during those times..
    Thank you for sharing your experience.. ~Sue


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