The Shine Journal

Exceptional Flash, Poetry, Art and Photography!

A Performance of Handell's Messiah by the Leesville Community Choir


Mark Bonica


In this little chapel far from any city
their voices rise and fall
with remarkable song:
altos snatch the lead from tenors
while sapranos and basses
lunge musically from the sidelines.

There are twentyfour of them
in simple black and white.
The fact that in some cases
the cut is finer
is apparent even
from ten pews back.

Later some of them
will climb into pick ups
with gun racks and fishing poles
to lumber down dirt roads
back to trailer homes.

We do not ask how we came to be here,
on the stage or in the audience -
it all seems so arbitrary -
because tonight they raise
all of us up
to be something
so much more exquisite.

BIO: Mark lives in Northern Virginia, and is a graduate student at George Mason University.

MOTIVATION: I was invited to this performance by an employee.  I was stunned by the beauty, despite the fact that the performance was by local talent.  It reminded me how much beauty is hidden in the common.

Photo by Robert Proksa

Click the pics to meet the members!

Sue CampbellWilliam Swafford 

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