Snell Publishers

Independent e-publishers of fantasy, self-help and travel poetry


I found a banner in Exeter cathedral that I had never noticed before. It was at least eight feet high and was embroidered from head to toe. It was, as it were, hiding on one of the side aisles outside the quire and I may have walked by it many times, I don’t know, but today for some reason I could see it. A life-size figure, Mary I think, made in 1931. She wears a robe that is turquoise blue, she has braids and a halo, all traditional but what caught my heart were the figures close to her; there was a goose looking very interested in her and a bunny also fascinated by the Mary.

In the background there was a lamb, then farther back a sheep suckling her lamb; there were bulrushes, I am not sure why (all these things have meaning) and in the far distance there are white cliffs and a sailboat sailing away.

This Mary has a story.  I must go back and see who this banner was made for and by whom. What story is it telling to us?

Here’s a poem about another Mary, a statue near some woods bordering on the wide Ottawa river, in Ontario:


The Saint catches me
She stands in the snow,
Her paint peeling
A little neglected,
A feeling of disuse about her,
But she is beautiful
Her serenity pours out
As she overlooks
The seekers who tread
The labyrinth.

Enter the path
From the North door of the house,
Remembering lost loved ones and
And there’s a half step
Where the heart breaks,
Between the time the foot lifts
And before it returns
To Earth
In that instant
Eyes fill,
And one can breathe in.

There’s an uncertainty
Where beautiful things may happen:
Because they are neither this nor that,
Neither good
Nor bad,

At the edge of things:
The places that aren’t visited,
The jobs unfinished,
The thoughts hung up,
Sentences broken,

Where there’s a shore with waves lapping
Trees at the edge of the city,

There’s the idea broken off
Before a finish.
When there is no chance
For a product to form
We can remain hung up,
In mid- sentence
As it were.

And the life streams on,
Whether we feel finished, completed
Or not,
It’s the flow,

And questions become wonder on
The twist and turn
On the labyrinthine path,
And reaching the centre point,
Remember the stories
Of unseen protection,
The necessity of waiting.
So accept,
And let go
Plans, standing at the centre of the labyrinth,
In dry November snow,
Waiting for clarity,
Which may come,
Or may not.