One-time Quaker Meeting House, Waterford. My poem written from 1971 memories of attending Meeting because it was radically different to liturgical denominations. There was a badminton court in a side room also, which held attraction as well as the “real coffee” (probably Nescafe!)…
On Sundays we co-eds confidently strode
out granite pillared gates and down the road,
past De La Salle, dogmatic in adherence,
Catholic college, grumpy in appearance;
boasting boys freely mingled, flirted
with fellow form girls, colourful skirted.
No crocodile lines, no prefect chaperone,
our travel to church trusted, past old stone
tower and family-owned quayside shops;
bells boomed, chimed the civic clock;
bored by long services, supposedly divine,
sermons irrelevant, no blessings benign.
Meeting-house worship I next explored,
long-silence loved, struck kindred chord;
sporadic extempore parables spoken
by either gender, the floor was open
to all, Friendly-philosophy expounded,
poems recited, no pulpit to be pounded.
The Quaker-hallowed hush readily wooed,
tenuous teen belief in God got re-glued;
revered room simple, no decorative mark,
radial-arranged benches, all spartan stark,
less religious service, more co-op class –
and afterward Bewley’s coffee…unsurpassed!