I’m not altogether certain this one is finished; but it’s been hanging about for a month, gaining and losing words, lines and order, so I’m letting it loose. The beach is always a good place to visit when I’m contemplating a preaching moment. There’s something about an empty horizon that evokes eternity and mortality mixed together …



I am always moved to bare my feet;

they shush and shuffle in the narrow strand

where the land ends and the Spirit moves the deep,

as if it were holy ground.

As if it were holy ground,

the city stands a decent silence away

as the thin place between the lake and the land

returns the horizon’s empty stare.

As if it were holy ground,

the Holy Ghost in seagull’s form

falls raucously to earth –

as if it were holy ground.

About Rosalind C Hughes

Rosalind C Hughes is a priest and author living near the shores of Lake Erie. After growing up in England and Wales, and living briefly in Singapore, she is now settled in Ohio. She serves an Episcopal church just outside Cleveland. Rosalind is the author of A Family Like Mine: Biblical Stories of Love, Loss, and Longing , and Whom Shall I Fear? Urgent Questions for Christians in an Age of Violence, both from Upper Room Books. She loves the lake, misses the ocean, and is finally coming to terms with snow.
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