Sunday Poetry by Jenean C. Gilstrap. Today: The Poem and the Prayer

Sunday Poetry by Jenean C. Gilstrap. Today: The Poem and the Prayer
Jenean C Gilstrap
Pillar stone, Gallarus Oratory, County Kerry, Ireland

Pillar stone, Gallarus Oratory, County Kerry, Ireland

Upon the discovery of the skeletal remains of nearly 800 children in the septic system of an Irish Catholic home for unwed mothers run the the Sisters of Bon Scours [“safe harbors” in French], located in Tuam, County Galway, Ireland, the government is now conducting a fact-finding mission into this most recent scandal of the church. This, my second poem on this subject, looks at this horrific revelation from my personal perspective of the dynamics of the church and its role in the events at Bon Scours.

the poem and the prayer


hail mary full of grace

women in black edged in white

gowns flowin’ free in the night

men in gowns goin’ down outta sight

blessed are thou amongst women

virgin women ain’t no lie

they all married an invisible guy

ring of gold they wear with pride

thinkin’ all their acts they can hide

we fly unto thee o virgin of virgins

takin’ on the church’s name

just addin’ more to all its shame

don’t they know it ain’t no game

before thee we do stand

sisters countin’ others’ sins

an’ that’s how it all begins

countin’ love as sin of the skin

ever’body loses nobody wins

sinful and sorrowful

bishops cardinals priests

they all partake of the devil’s feast

and ride the ugly satan’s beast

pray for us sinners

then comes god’s confessional day

eatin’ a wafer keeps hell at bay

sippin’ some wine lets ‘em all stay

to do dark biddin’ their own way

turn thine eyes of mercy toward us

holy mary mother of god

little ones’ care just a facade

they never once spared the rod

despise not our petitions

in the name of the father the son the holy ghost

they each played lucifer’s host

which one did kill the most

but in thy mercy

and which will bear the guilt

for the house of horrors religion built

where wadin’ the pools takes more than stilts

and the straight and narrow is at a tilt

hear and answer them

where the stench of galway waters deep

is filled with the bones of little lost sheep

skeletons all in a sewer’s keep

o holy holy

forgive them for they have sinned



View Comments (2)
  • thank you, martin cid, for always the perfect image to accompany my pieces – and for all your devotion and hard work to make yareah what it is, my deepest gratitude!

    • Always thanks to YOU, Jenean! I’m very sorry for the delay -I think I have repeated it one thousand times-. Congratulations for the poem! Great as always! The gratitude is all ours.

Jenean C Gilstrap

Since childhood, Ms. Gilstrap has had a love of words-of writing and other arts. An individualist, she chooses not to follow any pre-conceived pattern for the outlay of these words – rather, she allows them the freedom to forge their own path as they make their way from her heart to pen to paper. Her art work involves both photography and mixed media on large canvasses. She is a weekly featured poet in Yareah Magazine where her works have appeared for more than a year. Her piece The Granite God was the winning poem in Painted Bride Quarterly Sidebar #12 [2012]. Her work has been featured in performance poetry theatrical productions in Louisiana and her short story, Retribution, published in the Helicon Literary Magazine there. She and her gypsywomanworld blog are included as character/story elements in Ghost Key, the fictional work of award-winning author Trish MacGregor. Her first volume of poetry [2013], words unspoken, is available in both paperback and on kindle at amazon. She currently divides her time between her home in Louisiana and the east coast as she completes her second volume of poetry to be published in 2013.

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