an online Instagram web viewer
  • obelenous
    Bill Erickson
    @obelenous

Images by obelenous

When I was young, I prayed in church with all my classmates, the chorus of our little voices stringing through the wooden pews and rolling off the chapel walls like sweet but unintelligible music. I might’ve prayed for absolution, but didn't know for what. I probably prayed for something that I wanted, some material desire beyond my tiny reach. I knew the verses well enough, and I’d kneel on the crimson vinyl of a thinly padded pew and mumble the Hail Mary beneath a marble copy of the Pieta tenanting an inaccessible balcony above the vestibule, draped in shadows so to hide her sorrow. A single stained-glass window let in light that broke across the pallid carpet like dismantled rainbows.

I remember one day praying blankly, the Our Father echoing in high-pitch monotone through the room so that the words repeated by the walls became confused with the words that I was saying. Forgive us our trespasses, and above us constellations of dust purled beneath florescent bulbs, dancing offhandedly to our tedious incantation. I remember that, but I don’t remember what I held in mind--and lead us not into temptation--only that I said the prayer, and the somber words spun somewhere high above me with the dust. When mass was over, we poured through the steal doors outside where recess waited. Give us this day, our daily bread. 
One evening not long ago, I sat in the Gothic church near my home. It was almost empty, and the few voices I heard only when a whisper would stream across the nave sharply and dissolve. Darkness swelled between the candlelight, moving lazily to offer momentary glimpses of a Christ in suffering. I didn’t pray a word.

As we forgive those who trespass against us, and flashes of the gold-trimmed columns coerced my eyes toward the oculus painted in the dome. And maybe it’s the silence that says the most. 
I’ve been a praying person. Today I go to churches for the quiet echoes that they speak, the ways they play with light and silence to make sober moments of a day confused—thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven—the voices that I hear in prayer who have their faith in words. But I don't pray for absolution.
-
#Amsterdam #Netherlands
When I was young, I prayed in church with all my classmates, the chorus of our little voices stringing through the wooden pews and rolling off the chapel walls like sweet but unintelligible music. I might’ve prayed for absolution, but didn't know for what. I probably prayed for something that I wanted, some material desire beyond my tiny reach. I knew the verses well enough, and I’d kneel on the crimson vinyl of a thinly padded pew and mumble the Hail Mary beneath a marble copy of the Pieta tenanting an inaccessible balcony above the vestibule, draped in shadows so to hide her sorrow. A single stained-glass window let in light that broke across the pallid carpet like dismantled rainbows. I remember one day praying blankly, the Our Father echoing in high-pitch monotone through the room so that the words repeated by the walls became confused with the words that I was saying. Forgive us our trespasses, and above us constellations of dust purled beneath florescent bulbs, dancing offhandedly to our tedious incantation. I remember that, but I don’t remember what I held in mind--and lead us not into temptation--only that I said the prayer, and the somber words spun somewhere high above me with the dust. When mass was over, we poured through the steal doors outside where recess waited. Give us this day, our daily bread. One evening not long ago, I sat in the Gothic church near my home. It was almost empty, and the few voices I heard only when a whisper would stream across the nave sharply and dissolve. Darkness swelled between the candlelight, moving lazily to offer momentary glimpses of a Christ in suffering. I didn’t pray a word. As we forgive those who trespass against us, and flashes of the gold-trimmed columns coerced my eyes toward the oculus painted in the dome. And maybe it’s the silence that says the most. I’ve been a praying person. Today I go to churches for the quiet echoes that they speak, the ways they play with light and silence to make sober moments of a day confused—thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven—the voices that I hear in prayer who have their faith in words. But I don't pray for absolution. - #Amsterdam  #Netherlands 
-
What am I but far removed?
What am I but losing heart
And loosely mended injuries
And garden after garden blooms
Of withered words to grow;
Some unconvincing sense the
Bruises fade like weather changes,
But it rains in hues of stale wounds
Too deeply blue and bleeding still,
And still the furrows fill with every
Drop until the tears are gone.
So what am I but lost
Without the pain to
Paint it overcast,
And what to be
But blame to come
Across beneath a storm.
-
#Paris #France
- What am I but far removed? What am I but losing heart And loosely mended injuries And garden after garden blooms Of withered words to grow; Some unconvincing sense the Bruises fade like weather changes, But it rains in hues of stale wounds Too deeply blue and bleeding still, And still the furrows fill with every Drop until the tears are gone. So what am I but lost Without the pain to Paint it overcast, And what to be But blame to come Across beneath a storm. - #Paris  #France 
-
A wish to take the glass for granted,
To pass my trust through window-panes
And let alone the weather,
For I know it's colder outside
Than the view from here suggests.

A hope in keeping clear
This perfect scene of how I see it all,
In easy little parcels portioned out
So I can take them,
In silent little portraits
Of a place I think I get.
-
#Melbourne #Australia
- A wish to take the glass for granted, To pass my trust through window-panes And let alone the weather, For I know it's colder outside Than the view from here suggests. A hope in keeping clear This perfect scene of how I see it all, In easy little parcels portioned out So I can take them, In silent little portraits Of a place I think I get. - #Melbourne  #Australia 
-
The morning winds were ghosts for speaking, whispering through alleys of an ocean not far off, the vigor of a gale that pushed in water worlds away and with it some impression that I'd listened all along. I heard it cold and narrow in a word composed of vanished points, heard it crisp and fugitive where sunrise paints the night in gold and blue to hide it. And they're brighter than I ever think, the margins of preceding days. They're sharper now, embodied in the strands of sun escaping from a theory of tomorrow just to wake me to the noise.

Maybe it was just the draw and swell of coastal air, maybe just the way it clung to the canals, and but a breath above the water so to mine it for it's cold. But here above the blue-black mirror, sated by a wind that sang of something grey and past, a morning born in lucid white broke out from where the sky unfolds, and long before the sound of just another day made heard itself, I watched a ripple fade across the dark reflection here. I watched it sink, like evening had, and vanish into points of sun, and if I could have followed, I'd be just another night.
-
#Amsterdam #Netherlands
- The morning winds were ghosts for speaking, whispering through alleys of an ocean not far off, the vigor of a gale that pushed in water worlds away and with it some impression that I'd listened all along. I heard it cold and narrow in a word composed of vanished points, heard it crisp and fugitive where sunrise paints the night in gold and blue to hide it. And they're brighter than I ever think, the margins of preceding days. They're sharper now, embodied in the strands of sun escaping from a theory of tomorrow just to wake me to the noise. Maybe it was just the draw and swell of coastal air, maybe just the way it clung to the canals, and but a breath above the water so to mine it for it's cold. But here above the blue-black mirror, sated by a wind that sang of something grey and past, a morning born in lucid white broke out from where the sky unfolds, and long before the sound of just another day made heard itself, I watched a ripple fade across the dark reflection here. I watched it sink, like evening had, and vanish into points of sun, and if I could have followed, I'd be just another night. - #Amsterdam  #Netherlands 
-
A Sunday for the valleys, too.
An undertone in winter fabrics
Hung upon a week gone by
To capture what it meant to
Be apart.

The one-day recollections strung
Today in threads irresolute
To come and go, so only
Afterthoughts for frameworks
And eroding inclinations of
An anger quelled and useless
Linger here,
Suspended torrents said for
Monday's hills and Tuesday's
Greener promise, faded by
A climb too steep whose
Every tree is likeness and
Whose weeks, they seem
But passed with little sun.
-
#Seward #AK
- A Sunday for the valleys, too. An undertone in winter fabrics Hung upon a week gone by To capture what it meant to Be apart. The one-day recollections strung Today in threads irresolute To come and go, so only Afterthoughts for frameworks And eroding inclinations of An anger quelled and useless Linger here, Suspended torrents said for Monday's hills and Tuesday's Greener promise, faded by A climb too steep whose Every tree is likeness and Whose weeks, they seem But passed with little sun. - #Seward  #AK 
-
I'm not inclined toward another road to cross today. And yes it's nihilistic, but I've been a block or two, so I'll just sit here idle, waiting, because I know the light will change.
-
#Vancouver #WA
- I'm not inclined toward another road to cross today. And yes it's nihilistic, but I've been a block or two, so I'll just sit here idle, waiting, because I know the light will change. - #Vancouver  #WA 
-
To be upon a sojourn in the cold of morning now, to listen for a sager word and speak of only silence as the memories relax and fall in emerald drops of rain. To ebb again and slake the thirsty blades of grass I walk across for fresher days than last and ask, because I'm all but lost, whose clouds are these. Whose clouds are these that never settle but keep travelling, the tender brush of unmade storms for other days to reason? Whose clouds are these that make a demi-sunrise something lovely and that paint this landscape crisp just like tomorrow?
-
#Worthington #Glacier
- To be upon a sojourn in the cold of morning now, to listen for a sager word and speak of only silence as the memories relax and fall in emerald drops of rain. To ebb again and slake the thirsty blades of grass I walk across for fresher days than last and ask, because I'm all but lost, whose clouds are these. Whose clouds are these that never settle but keep travelling, the tender brush of unmade storms for other days to reason? Whose clouds are these that make a demi-sunrise something lovely and that paint this landscape crisp just like tomorrow? - #Worthington  #Glacier 
-
Lately I've been lost among them.
Lately, as the minutes lapse,
I've been a stand-in someone,
And the substitute I've furnished
Hasn't handled burdens well.

Lately hasn't been but stopgap
Answers to a question
Every morning as the rains
Pour in to ask me how I do,
And truth be told I've only
Lately given in to makeshift
Ways of patronizing time
So that it stays a bit beyond me.

Lately I've the thinnest grasp
Of seconds simply passing,
And it's every second guess
That catches hold.

Lately it's the traffic in and out,
And it's my aging,
And the puerile dance of moments
Lately paints my likeness well.
-
#TragalgarSquare #London
- Lately I've been lost among them. Lately, as the minutes lapse, I've been a stand-in someone, And the substitute I've furnished Hasn't handled burdens well. Lately hasn't been but stopgap Answers to a question Every morning as the rains Pour in to ask me how I do, And truth be told I've only Lately given in to makeshift Ways of patronizing time So that it stays a bit beyond me. Lately I've the thinnest grasp Of seconds simply passing, And it's every second guess That catches hold. Lately it's the traffic in and out, And it's my aging, And the puerile dance of moments Lately paints my likeness well. - #TragalgarSquare  #London 
-
A window in the shadows so to see how short the time has been, and how unsound that I've assumed another day was mine, these patterns on the glass reflecting sunset after sunset blue and spent. An hour in the traffic, and it's gold to spill away like rain. A mirror aiming west to paint the morning.
-
#London #UK
- A window in the shadows so to see how short the time has been, and how unsound that I've assumed another day was mine, these patterns on the glass reflecting sunset after sunset blue and spent. An hour in the traffic, and it's gold to spill away like rain. A mirror aiming west to paint the morning. - #London  #UK 
-
A stone among them all to slip.
Another foothold sunken,
So another step to fall,
And when the hope is
All but gone another
Winter not much different.

A name upon these bluing
Winds the likeness of a
Rain I've heard.
The whisper of familiar eyes
Gone grey a bit too soon,
And it's this sudden cliff
To scale, and it's misunderstood
Goodbyes, that leave me struggling
To find the word for beauty.
-
#Valdez #Alaska
- A stone among them all to slip. Another foothold sunken, So another step to fall, And when the hope is All but gone another Winter not much different. A name upon these bluing Winds the likeness of a Rain I've heard. The whisper of familiar eyes Gone grey a bit too soon, And it's this sudden cliff To scale, and it's misunderstood Goodbyes, that leave me struggling To find the word for beauty. - #Valdez  #Alaska 
-
An evening for the flames to catch,
A simple interruption in the endless
Fall of hour after hour laid aside,
And just this moment left to flash for
Shadowed names and wintered faces
In some golden hint of silence
Plucked from words that
Spoke too soon.
-
#Vancouver #WA
- An evening for the flames to catch, A simple interruption in the endless Fall of hour after hour laid aside, And just this moment left to flash for Shadowed names and wintered faces In some golden hint of silence Plucked from words that Spoke too soon. - #Vancouver  #WA 
-
Always for the fickle days. Always for the drops of rain who fall too indiscreetly just to feed the shallow roots and lead these withered blooms away. All of me for artistry in foul weather breaking and for alms to seek in ripple after ripple taking time too lightly, so the flowers wait.

Always for a vagery, and always too uncertain.
Always all too little and a little bit too late, so that I'm always turning echoes and I'm always painting still-lifes, and the stillness still makes light of all these minutes as they fade.
-
#Paris #France
- Always for the fickle days. Always for the drops of rain who fall too indiscreetly just to feed the shallow roots and lead these withered blooms away. All of me for artistry in foul weather breaking and for alms to seek in ripple after ripple taking time too lightly, so the flowers wait. Always for a vagery, and always too uncertain. Always all too little and a little bit too late, so that I'm always turning echoes and I'm always painting still-lifes, and the stillness still makes light of all these minutes as they fade. - #Paris  #France 
Another day for us, my friend;
The one that we'd envisioned
Didn't turn out quite as planned,
A vague reflection glassed behind
This dusty little window to
Display in no uncertain terms
The turns we never had.

Another time to say hello.
Another close goodbye.
Another lovely promise, and
It's muddy water slipping past
To add to our collection of
Mistaken reasons why.
-
#London #England
Another day for us, my friend; The one that we'd envisioned Didn't turn out quite as planned, A vague reflection glassed behind This dusty little window to Display in no uncertain terms The turns we never had. Another time to say hello. Another close goodbye. Another lovely promise, and It's muddy water slipping past To add to our collection of Mistaken reasons why. - #London  #England 
-
Friday for a paradox.
Friday for a makeshift plot
To lay in graves the self-made men,
A sense to make of afterthoughts
Gone way of all successes,
And the epitaph plays on repeat
For weekday wolves to chase.

Friday, and the irony's
A bit more deeply seeded.
But the days are made in
End rhymes and in sequences
Of seamless words the likes
Of time to kill for passing
By in too much haste.
-
#Melbourne #Australia
- Friday for a paradox. Friday for a makeshift plot To lay in graves the self-made men, A sense to make of afterthoughts Gone way of all successes, And the epitaph plays on repeat For weekday wolves to chase. Friday, and the irony's A bit more deeply seeded. But the days are made in End rhymes and in sequences Of seamless words the likes Of time to kill for passing By in too much haste. - #Melbourne  #Australia 
-
I wrote a poem for tomorrow
In the balance of today,
Hung it where the evening makes
An accident of gold and green,
But it just seems my words
Collapsed beneath the blue
When morning came.
-
#Melbourne #Australia
- I wrote a poem for tomorrow In the balance of today, Hung it where the evening makes An accident of gold and green, But it just seems my words Collapsed beneath the blue When morning came. - #Melbourne  #Australia 
-
Just upon a thread of smoke
To rise a bit and fade,
Too subtle in a moment's
Lapse to speak but evanescent
Names, and drip by drip
The candle grows a little
Less familiar,
Day by day to sit beneath
Your shadows as they wane.
-
#Paris #France
- Just upon a thread of smoke To rise a bit and fade, Too subtle in a moment's Lapse to speak but evanescent Names, and drip by drip The candle grows a little Less familiar, Day by day to sit beneath Your shadows as they wane. - #Paris  #France 
-
Always on the road, but never there.
All these mileposts just questions argued thinly in the dissipating traces turn by turn I leave behind, the graceful change of fog and mist a fading constellation, and the chances passing faithfully like waypoints in the mirror, so I watch them drawn and distant. Always just an instant for the raindrops wiped away in view seeing round a corner where the outcome's always blind.
-
#SharingAlaska
- Always on the road, but never there. All these mileposts just questions argued thinly in the dissipating traces turn by turn I leave behind, the graceful change of fog and mist a fading constellation, and the chances passing faithfully like waypoints in the mirror, so I watch them drawn and distant. Always just an instant for the raindrops wiped away in view seeing round a corner where the outcome's always blind. - #SharingAlaska 
-
An evening for the empty chairs.
A perfect place to stand among
The taken leaves and trace a
Sinking light to where it wanes.
A little hope in making whole
This broken hold on names
Remembered only in the apertures
That close, and it's the lonely
Themes of fallen leaves and arbitrary
Footing that make lovely shades
From absences and
Charming things of pain.
-
#London #UK
- An evening for the empty chairs. A perfect place to stand among The taken leaves and trace a Sinking light to where it wanes. A little hope in making whole This broken hold on names Remembered only in the apertures That close, and it's the lonely Themes of fallen leaves and arbitrary Footing that make lovely shades From absences and Charming things of pain. - #London  #UK 
-
These Sunday ghosts,
They wait for me.
These anxious trails of
Rusted weeks gone
One by one, they drip
Away til Monday quits
Another year and it's
Tomorrow falsely played
In subtle spaces and in
Cracked cement.

These lovely apparitions
Utter something of a
Hopeful song in idle
Hues of jaundiced dusk,
And I suppose it's but a
Cleft upon this thin façade
Of passing instants where
An instant isn't past and
Where a Sunday means me well.
-
#London #UK
- These Sunday ghosts, They wait for me. These anxious trails of Rusted weeks gone One by one, they drip Away til Monday quits Another year and it's Tomorrow falsely played In subtle spaces and in Cracked cement. These lovely apparitions Utter something of a Hopeful song in idle Hues of jaundiced dusk, And I suppose it's but a Cleft upon this thin façade Of passing instants where An instant isn't past and Where a Sunday means me well. - #London  #UK 
-
I know somewhere the sun appears
To break these moonlit days,
These makeshift winters
Weeping in the portraits drawn
By passing rains, whose
Ashen imprints realize
My likeness, but in drying
Puddles, and their ripples
Speak of prospects
Blotted out and of
A passion grown diffuse.

I know an end to this opaquely
Rendered course of cryptic
Payoffs lost in goals
Too thinly spread to be
Much more than mist
And sketchy outcomes.

It's just that here the clouds are thick.
-
#Paris #France
- I know somewhere the sun appears To break these moonlit days, These makeshift winters Weeping in the portraits drawn By passing rains, whose Ashen imprints realize My likeness, but in drying Puddles, and their ripples Speak of prospects Blotted out and of A passion grown diffuse. I know an end to this opaquely Rendered course of cryptic Payoffs lost in goals Too thinly spread to be Much more than mist And sketchy outcomes. It's just that here the clouds are thick. - #Paris  #France