Decades of family living are transformed

To become the place for nursing

Those of declining years

As night calls flow

Into twenty hours of attentive care

Shown in the middle of nowhere.


A gentle hill is the chosen site

For the chapel Gallus built

As a place of prayer for a community

Celebrating Christ

In vineyards of hope and fields of ripened wheat

Placed in the middle of nowhere.


As the book is opened and prayers are said

Tears flow inexplicably

With a sense of the divine

Speaking through a special word

And the life of the revered

Who stay in the middle of nowhere.


The simplicity of living is shared

In an avenue of roses

And the profusion of day lilies

Or fields of onions lined up for harvesting

With salad for supper

Taken in the middle of nowhere.


The spreading roots are joined

With the trunk above ground

To produce the profusion of fruit

That goes beyond apple orchards

And cherries' enduring reminder

Of life in the middle of nowhere.


Winterthur gardens

And the houses of Stein am Rhein,

Schaffhausen's falls,

And Ittingen's ancient cloisters

Radiate out from the forgotten village of Stammheim

Set in the middle of nowhere.


We come to this by-passed place

Ignored by the world

To find the fruits of the Spirit

Of kindness shown in the spirit of the servant

With boundless hospitality

To us in the middle of nowhere.


Bringing news of world-wide progress

And a pride in all that's done

Comes a bold envoy

Heralding hope of the noblest prize

A peace-making army could wish for

As it works in the middle of nowhere.


June 2003


After Hans Peter Vogel visited Abend-Sonne