. Seeing the Light by Susan Jarvis Bryant . I. Peace Be with You… a pantoum “Peace is possible, truth at all costs.” ---Martin Luther The churchyard cat is terrified The belfry bats are numb with fear The oaken door creaks open wide The luckless flock is drawing near The belfry bats are numb with fear The altar drips with crimson wine The luckless flock is drawing near A shiver waits for skin and spine The altar drips with crimson wine Grackles cackle from the steeple A shiver waits for skin and spine Something eerie greets the people Grackles cackle from the steeple The organ’s voice is sharp and shrill Something eerie greets the people Something spooky sends a chill The organ’s voice is sharp and shrill A cassock cloaks a beastly bent Something spooky sends a chill The sermon isn’t heaven-sent A cassock cloaks a beastly bent The oaken door creaks open wide The sermon isn’t heaven-sent The churchyard cat is terrified First published in Expansive Poetry Online . . II. Fleeced a triolet “Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God.” ---Lenny Bruce Palms press to pray. Legs bend to kneel. Do sheep know when their shepherd lies? The sermon has a cheesy feel. Palms press to pray. Legs bend to kneel. Do flocks hear when the words aren’t real And catch that snarl in saccharine sighs? Palms press to pray. Legs bend to kneel. Do sheep know when their shepherd lies? . . III. A Sincere Sonnet from an Ex-Secretary “Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither." ---C. S. Lewis Today my soul was forced to shred and burn My daily dreams of hope in faith’s domain. Today my conscience screamed it was my turn To take a stand; expose a shameful game--- To peel the layers back from deeds so sly The devil would have doffed his hat in glee. Refuting every tricky-vicar lie Secured my sleepless soul’s serenity. So here I am without a job or pay (A mind replete with peace cannot be bought) For me there wasn’t any other way Than doing what my heart told me I ought. The truth will shine for those who wish to search... It’s in the heavens... high above the church. . . Susan Jarvis Bryant has poetry published on Lighten Up Online, Snakeskin, Light, Sparks of Calliope, and Expansive Poetry Online. She also has poetry published in TRINACRIA, Beth Houston’s Extreme Formal Poems anthology, and in Openings (anthologies of poems by Open University Poets in the UK). Susan is the winner of the 2020 International SCP Poetry Competition, and has been nominated for the 2022 Pushcart Prize.