Poets | Bookstore | Poem of the Day | Top 40 | Search | Comments | Privacy
July 10th, 2014 - we have 234 poets, 8,025 poems and 111,284 comments.
Richard Hugo - The Church On Comiaken Hill

for Sydney Pettit

The lines are keen against today's bad sky
about to rain. We're white and understand
why Indians sold butter for the funds
to build this church. Four hens and a rooster
huddle on the porch. We are dark
and know why no one climbed to pray. The priest
who did his best to imitate a bell
watched the river, full of spirits, coil
below the hill, relentless for the bay.

A church abandoned to the wind is portent.
In high wind, ruins make harsh music.
The priest is tending bar. His dreams have paid
outrageous fees for stone and mortar.
His eyes are empty as a chapel
roofless in a storm. Greek temples seem
the same as forty centuries ago.
If we used one corner for a urinal,
he wouldn't swear we hadn't worshipped here.

The chickens cringe. Rain sprays chaos where
the altar and the stained glass would have gone
had Indians not eaten tribal cows
one hungry fall. Despite the chant,
salmon hadn't come. The first mass
and a phone line cursed the river.
If rain had rhythm, it would not be Latin.

Children do not wave as we drive out.
Like these graves ours may go unmarked.
Can we be satisfied when dead
with daffodils for stones? These Indians--
whatever they once loved or used for God--
the hill--the river--the bay burned by the moon--
they knew that when you die you lose your name.

Share |

Added: Feb 20 2003 | Viewed: 202 times | Comments and analysis of The Church On Comiaken Hill by Richard Hugo Comments (10)

The Church On Comiaken Hill - Comments and Information

Poet: Richard Hugo
Poem: The Church On Comiaken Hill
Volume: Death of the Kapowsin Tavern
Year: Published/Written in 1965

Comment 10 of 10, added on September 24th, 2013 at 5:32 PM.

zRo9H7 Very neat article post.

pro link building from Azerbaijan
Comment 9 of 10, added on May 27th, 2013 at 10:28 AM.

1MSNwd Im thankful for the article post. Really Cool.

seo service from Egypt
Comment 8 of 10, added on May 25th, 2013 at 8:18 PM.

T5mOMK I loved your article post. Much obliged.

good seo from Brazil

Are you looking for more information on this poem? Perhaps you are trying to analyze it? The poem, The Church On Comiaken Hill, has received 10 comments. Click here to read them, and perhaps post a comment of your own.

Poem Info

Hugo Info
Copyright © 2000-2012 Gunnar Bengtsson. All Rights Reserved. Links | Bookstore