The Church in the Attic

There is a church in the attic that only the door mouse knows.
All week it is hidden in the dark.
Like if it were a treasure covered by a mist or gold at the elusive region of a rainbows end.
But on Sunday the flame is lit bright.
The people enter the sanctuary.
What was once a utilitarian place becomes a spiritual space.
Caring and kindness soak the air and speakers paint a picture with words.
The ghost of goodness inhabits the assemblage.
The fellowship of friends is like the warmth of winter ages.
The chalice extinguished.
The church vanishes.
It was only visible for a moment.
The door mouse inventory's the hidden hardware.
It will stay in the attic cold or hot but in the daily darkness still a church.
Still the place we gather to fill our soul.
Still where we rest our spirits and sip slowly the peace of the world.
Out of the mist it reappears.
From the rainbows end let us go forth in our faith to the place where our soul belongs.
The church in the attic that like Brigadoon appears once a week
To feed us on spiritual food then vanishes for five days.
It is not just a place where we go.
It is the inspiration that opens our hearts to the world.
It is in the recognition that others like us also care for the universe.
We are not alone our soul has found its home.

JF Anstead
(A grateful member of Tapestry)


If I were to vanish from this world I would like my compassion to remain behind.
Like a rain that waters the plentiful pasture,
My kindness like the memory of a sublime thunderstorm would be remembered.
Standing opaque like the shadow of my heart looming in the skies,
The art of the spirit, a sharing that transcends all boundaries,
Like an island in the lake of the universe pulsing love in exchange for remembrance.
I am sailing the vessel of my soul, compassion is my compass, winds of kindness push my sails.
I know that the only currency the only value is love.
May the memory of me not be that I was clever or that I found a way to rule the globe,
but that at life’s most difficult moment I was able to share my humanity with others.
We can not put a salve on the worlds wounds but we can heal it one person at a time.

JF Anstead


In the heart of a rose lay a great black hole.
The petals spread like the arms of a spiral galaxy.
There in the pulsing soul of the universe I found your reflection like drops of water on a pond.
From the pitch black of heaven I cut you a dress.
The stars cling to the cloth and because of the curvature of time it fits snug to the hips.
For eye color I choose the luminous tail of a comet.
From nebulae I make you nylons.
For your hair I construct a comb of quasars.
From the crimson light of a red dwarf I make paint to adorn your lips.
I look for the most empty point in space and with that inky darkness I line your eyes.
From pearlescent planets I make you earrings.
And sewing the asteroid belt through the rings of Saturn I make a necklace.
You are at last dressed to the nines, clad by the sky.
The cosmos is a perfect fit.
The stars are shinning in your eyes.
I hear the ripples on the pond call your name.
In my guilded garden I bent to smell a rose.
I closed my eyes and the memory of the stars is imprinted on my soul.
Like the kiss of a blackhole it draws me back to the universe in your eye.

 JF Anstead


Code of Kindness

Napoleon knew what lions know that only the strong survive.
With enough armament life is a breeze of machiavellan ease.
The ways of rough men rule the world and what ceasar says has made the past.
But lost in the labyrinth are the unwritten laws.
A code of kindness that does not define our swords, but defines our souls.
We live such desperate lives but what if instead we could inspire illumination
like the flaming bloom of june.
Perhaps love could kindle that fire and goodness could gain the globe.
Compassion’s law is not laid in steel or stone, its foundation is the human heart.
What we must do is draw an arc between each other and make a compact
With all our soul:
Kind people think.
They do not act in a hurry.
They deliberate their destiny and make the universe a wonder to behold.
Kind people care for others.
They use love as their weapon and with warmth they conquer the constellations of man.
Kind people take responsibility,
for themselves first then for all the wide world.
It is possible to make a difference.
It all starts with one flame in the dark, others add their fire to yours and suddenly you have a star.
Kind people cooperate with others.
They leave arguments behind and seek agreement.
For it is in union with others that we can build our bounty, find our fortune, unfold our future.
Let kindness ring a bell of a beautiful new day.
Let it bring sunlight to our soul so we are free to explore our spirit
And sigh to the sky with delight.

JF Anstead

Guardian Angels

Have you thanked your guardian angel today?
Like lions they roar in the dark.
Stalwart warriors determined to save you
from all circumstance.
They are the watchers, serious sentinels
of every page in the book of life.
Some say they are like the passionate puti
That flocked to aphrodite’s aid.
Armed with adoration their cherubic curls
Bloom with lilacs.
They are white winged seraphs not gray
Like god but still mighty in their own right.
Their halo always shines bright. Except when you lie or are blind to goodness, then the halo darkens
Like an angelic storm that only rests when you remember to be kind and compassionate.
Their vestment is the silk of heavenly harmonies, silver and cinnabar in hue, pure as the morning dew.
They play their harps to heal you when you are sick, and in times of trouble they raise Perseus’ shield,
mirrored so that evil might see its own face.
In the palpable loneliness of the soul, when you feel separated from all who live, your guardian angels
are there so you will know whether away or at home that you are not alone.

 JF Anstead