No rich patron for St Andrew’s Church,
unmoved by digging at historical facts,
dropped, slumped, almost marooned,
leaving it off-centred on Alfriston’s Tye,
a cross set high on a rough mound,
above the bezier-curves of The Ouse,
of her flood-carved meanders,
kept from the village by a low flint wall,
this house sits, quiet, above the tide,
that moon’s claim upon timed rises,
which shift according to typed charts,
there is more than one God working here.
This low Cathedral of the Downs
will always be half-framed by the slope
of that grazed slant of Windover Hill,
unsure of the Long Man’s presence.
Inspired by – Keith Pettit
Published in Flights Poetry – https://flightsscc.wordpress.com/
I let my grey hair over-grow,
wear out dead man donated clothes,
I occasionally tap paths with my worn-down stick,
missing the beat of my off-time limp.
I’ve been re-set by a strangle, unseen,
I am less of a man, a reduction in mien,
offended by nature not playing it straight?
I eye the barrel of pain’s aimed complaints.
‘Life’s unfair,’ she spat out the words,
a line which I’ll refuse to rehearse.
But forty years later my recall has grown
of my mother’s bile rising, I swallow my own..
Life is fair, it is in agreement,
until we are held up by our parents,
then their bias, that family axiom:
We make our own lives by not repeating them.
I let my grey hairs over-grow,
wearing out dead man donated clothes.
I write this, aching from my simple effort,
now bench-propped, on Luxford Field,
with car shunts and engine revs behind me,
then killed, still, replaced (for now) by birdsong.
This afternoon, under ripe end-of-March sun,
(we will judge once more with warming fears),
I wave at the future, upright in a buggy,
trundled up the path, bobbled over lifted roots.
And then the farcical entry of a dog shocks
the three matte pigeons, and a shined rook,
which lift away, leaving the expanse empty,
untimely, far too early for the annual fair,
it’s arrival to be rung by the hammering of pegs.
That fun, on this field, is still a drought away,
until then there will be the scattering of litter,
couples snogging, and teenagers swigging.
But today, with this lunch hour to be consumed,
and low warmth enjoyed, the town joins me
in the old art of laying, uniform, on the grass;
one skill which we were taught well at school.
You too have climbed
from the alluvial swamp
of youth, of immaturity,
that dark cloy which sticks,
a viscid ignorance,
up from that shallow place
to our adapted older-selves,
without His re-engineering,
One’s dulled interest long lost –
ever since J. Robert Oppenheimer
re-purposed the identity of God,
and made mankind the last hope.
‘Survival of the fittest,’ is questioned,
but we stand, good, on two legs,
presently erect on this planet,
us, the last keepers of the foul waters
in which we clean our children,
He wants to die
no legal restraint,
before the pain
is beyond complaint;
connect his hope,
allow an abate,
let him die,
for that donate.