Treasure Island

Nika McGuin

(12/01/89 - present / Louisiana)

I Am Not Catholic


I frequent this warm cinnamon bench
at my college's open air catholic altar.

But I am not catholic,
I merely come here when I'm feeling off:

for the waterfall
the lush green foliage
the smell of rich moist earth
to feel God's nearness,
because it feels like
I've been away from home too long
but mostly because
nobody else comes here

Its just me and my thoughts
and the sloshing fountain waters
the fragrant smell of earth dampened
and God, God all around me

Submitted: Monday, February 24, 2014
Edited: Tuesday, February 25, 2014

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

I'm actually Baptist. There's a Baptist center but I don't visit - ironically enough.

Comments about this poem (I Am Not Catholic by Nika McGuin )

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  • Daniel Brick (8/12/2014 10:24:00 AM)

    Hi Nika I remember vividly the first time I read this poem and felt its warm glow fill me completely. A disciple of Frank Lloyd Wright designed a chapel which was carved into a mountain side in Sedona Arizona It is fairly large with an immense inner dome, so even when many people are within it you feel almost alone. I spent an hour in there trying to keep my thoughts from wandering and stay focused on gratitude. I'm glad I found your poem again today. It has such resonance it will stay in me all day! . (Report) Reply

  • Bri Edwards (3/7/2014 2:43:00 PM)

    another fine poem. it sounds like a great place. maybe Roman Catholics would want catholic capitalized. and somebody left the apostrophe out of It's here: Its just me and my thoughts...... i think PH sometimes is the culprit, but i find that i sometimes miss one of my errors even after two or three proof-readings.
    this goes to MyPoemList. :) thanks for sharing.

    i especially enjoyed the lines:

    because it feels like
    I've been away from home too long
    but mostly because
    nobody else comes here bri :) (Report) Reply

  • Daniel Brick (2/28/2014 5:50:00 AM)

    Nika, this is a beautiful poem, and I've taken it deep within me. I'm almost at a loss for words (a rare experience for me!) because the words of your poem are so fulfilling. The poem says what must be said; the most appropriate response is silence, similar to your state of mind/soul when you visit this chapel. The closing stanza of your poem is a wonderful restatement, in compressed form, of the details that make this place a threshold to the sacred. I admire the way you found the divine presence with quiet but genuine faith. I rarely promote my own poems when I'm commenting on other people's work, BUT you may like my poem BETWEEN STONE AND STARS at my Poetry Site because it describes a visit to a Catholic church and the calm a sacred place conveys. (Report) Reply

  • Is It Poetry (2/27/2014 4:58:00 PM)

    From a distance of
    but not off
    by more than the lenghth of
    around the tree
    one then both are walking
    talking
    the wind lifting up her skirt
    seeing stars, he bows
    she curtsies,
    as leaves begin to fall...iip (Report) Reply

  • Ed Nigma (2/25/2014 12:11:00 AM)

    I get it you love the peacefulness and the idea of what the place brings with the beauty surrounding it. I've always said the creator exists in everything and that church has grown into a comfortable building with soft cushioned pews and air conditioning with loads of entertainment that deviate away from the message. Though they are meant to draw others to that message. Church can be anywhere you want it to be not just limited to a comfortable box that people put it in. But Like I said I get this poem and I enjoy it for what it is. A longing to break away from the familiar scenes to a place that should be a special place and the feeling that comes with it. Nicely done I did enjoy this one =)

    Keep Poetry Alive
    Allan Gerard~ (Report) Reply

Read all 5 comments »

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