Newick Ghosts

There are no palpable ghosts
in this slept Sussex town
of three pubs, all dark,
beyond those dead flags
on the village green,
odd tablecloths, emblems
stiff under the freezing fog.
Nor are there are any stars,
just winks of burglar alarms.
I walk the dog for pisses
and sniffs, past the slept
and snored, those locked-in,
under tugged-at wed duvets.
The path is our slippery task,
so we adopt the road’s dashes
to guide us, me fog-blinded.
A clicked floodlight wakes
to make us both turn, fooled
by the automatic other presence.

The Vicar of Newick

I drank with God’s labourer
in Newick, last night,
him without dog collar,
instead with a pint;
he regaled the fire-sided,
with joyous laughter,
as he heated over coals –
a forestaste of life after?
There stripped of his woolly,
sweated in the snug,
if Heaven were on earth,
his Heaven’d be a pub.
The last time in The Crown
we met up with Christ,
bearded, skinny,
a nice Jesuit type;
but that wasn’t God’s Son
who stood by the Vicar,
but a Nazarene-alike,
a slim, bearded hipster.
The Spirit was stronger
later on in the bar,
a quart of Jack Daniels,
over pints of Dark Star.