Tuesday, 13 July 2010


Sure on this shining night
Of star-made shadows round
Kindness must watch for me
This side the ground

I expected to feel sad
knowing that it was the last time
that we would sit in the Great Cloister
on a warm summer evening in July
listening to the music of the Serenade.

The late year lies down the north,
All is healed, all is health
High summer holdsthe earth,
Hearts all whole

I discovered that the sounds
and the silences
are all locked away in my heart.

Sure on this shining night
I weep for wonder
Wandr'ing far alone
Of shadows on the stars.

At the very end of the evening
the roosting pigeons were startled
and flew upwards into the cobalt sky
through the arc of lights,
the undersides of their wings bright gold.

I thought that I had never seen anything so beautiful.

Sure on this Shining Night
Morton Lauridsen


  1. That paragraph about the roosting pigeons?

    In all my years of reading your blog that is the most beautiful piece of writing you have done.


  2. AnonymousJuly 13, 2010

    Thank you for your words today. I just heard that a good friend, fellow teacher, mother of two boys who were friends to my two boys, and helper when I really needed it, has died. We have been separated for 30 yrs. and a distance of nearly 3,000 miles, but close in heart. She has been ill for quite some time..but we always hoped.
    Your words and images are granting me comfort.
    Ellen Kelley

  3. You should write a book.

  4. Wonderful words, wonderful photos - and brought back memories to me of another last evening in another cloister. Thank you.

  5. Lovely bit about the pigeons, the image is burnt in my imagination. I hope you all had a great evening and were able to look forward to all the new beginnings.

  6. AnonymousJuly 13, 2010

    Every night as the sunsets here I see the sky turn the colour in your thrid photo. It makes me want to reach out and catch that colour, then put it in my pocket to look at later.

    Your photo caught that colour.

  7. Your sure-footed and sweet prose brings joy to many. Me included. ;-)

  8. AnonymousJuly 13, 2010

    Words to treasure, Alice. Thank you. As Ellen says, your writing still brings me comfort many months on and I value you more than you will ever know.
    Bobby x

  9. The imagery that you conjure up is so vivid and your photos are breathtaking with the changing light.....Thanks Alice :-)

  10. Alice, I've only heard one piece by Lauridsen and it was magnificent. Why is this the last time? sounds like a terrible shame.

    The photos are amazing - I love the growing contrasts.

  11. ...it is part of your daughter's graduation ceremony? is that why? I understand, then. What a splendid way to say goodbye.

  12. AnonymousJuly 14, 2010

    whoops, the keyboard is in the dark...


Thank you! I love reading your comments and even though I don't always have time to reply I am really grateful to every one who joins in the conversation.