Coyote Mercury

words, birds and whatever else by James Brush

While Sitting in Church

I didn’t hear a word the priest said,
but I saw the vultures circling


in the air above the lake
outside the windows
beyond the altar.

Things looked clearer out there,
and it made perfect sense to see

God skipping church that day
just to ride thermals with the angels.

This isn’t exactly a NaPoWriMo poem. It’s one I wrote almost a year ago, but I decided to come back to it and do some reworking. For one I wrote today, you’ll have to visit a gnarled oak for my daily napowrimo micro-poem.


  1. oh, I like this.

    I have this problem myself, thinking about those thermals. it’s particularly inconvenient while driving.

  2. This is great, James. Lovely, peaceful, graceful imagery. A good thing to read on my Friday morning.

  3. I like this and know the feeling well. For me it’s a bit more connected with school than church, though – all the church windows close to me have been stained glass, which kind of keeps you inside, doesn’t it? Never occurred to me before that this might be part of its purpose, not just “beauty.” Much easier to find the holy out in nature.

    • Thanks, Beth. This came from a church I used to attend a long time ago. It was on a cliff overlooking a lake and all the walls were windows of plain glass so you could look out at the lake where there were always vultures to be seen. Couldn’t agree more about where to find the holy.

  4. Hi James I like this. A glass wall church overlooking a cliff circling with vultures sounds awesome.

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