Monday, April 13, 2009


He always thought
That if the mighty yew ever toppled,
It would swat the squat, dumpy tower
Like a hand slapping a beetle,
Crushing it flat,
Obliterating it into the dust
Whence it came.
He turned the unwieldy iron key,
Using two hands to make sure the lock caught,
And stood shivering in the stone porch
As the wind clawed at terrified slates.
A few pitying coppers rattled in his large pocket,
The restoration target a few pence nearer.

The arms of the yew strained in frustration
And the grey church cowered in terror.
He buttoned his coat over his collar
And, head bent to the wind,
Strode off between the gravestones,
Like a row of forward slashes
In a hieroglyphic frieze.