An itinerant worker returns from a civil war that never quite happened, back through time to their partner, and on their way they see things in England and Wales that cause thoughts to occur. In sequence the field repeats, each one slightly differently. In each field a different voice, a different group. Maybe a village, or a city, or a bird
The wood gate is crisp
driftwood’s dry mirror –
and the church behind
is the rock upon
which the waves crash hard.
This hubbub decries –
with the tree’s creaking –
those who seek a peace.
Really there is no
well chiselled message;
In the graveyard hear
soft undefined hums
of voice and organ
mixing in hollows –
hear wind whistle through.
Hear your insecure
thoughts tapping upon
the stained glass dust – hear
choral doom and then
lays of the bright voice;
in time’s long empire
has brought the air here
and the soft water
The deep-house beats fall
from the window – hit
sunbeams combing the heat
fall down simmering streets
It’s royal wedding day – but I
can only focus on this
bunch of dead flowers,
strapped to a lamp-post –
The cellophane wrap flutters
around the dry remnants
framed by estates and hills
and glints from windscreens
I’m not saying something,
shocked by the light’s irradiance
the faintly dissonant organ
of which echoes softly pour
Those limestone souls, a crowd surge at the gates
where wooden worm-nourishing beams, deny
a crossing of the red river – useless names,
given fresh to the mason master-puppeteer;
Sitting squat, one arm outstretched, and sly
squinting for the sea-spray, grim eyes dripping –
complacent – they tempt to a certain joy, lit
as the moon brings a cawing custom to hope.
But chaos, in its own self certitude
sways slowly forth in undulations of infinite patience
caressing those lucky ones inside
and more are lost, soft names dissolving
as the waiting hollows reveal their shapes, and the less
in turn await their pockmarking
What vaults, and well lit
and the gloaming cross, witness
the infidelity of the throng.
They fill the looming vaults with talk:
the talk of the street, or the dining hall.
The many silent signs, supplicant, are passed
just as broken beggars on the street are passed –
“I don’t have the money” – lied to, ignored.
Wasn’t this worth more, I think, than that?
They say: I don’t have the time to be quiet,
to waste my trip, wasting on an unspoken diet
It’s a husk, inhabited by so many worms
eating, slowly, the pews
and drinking the holy water
which was only water after all, after queues
like that in their plastic bottles.
But what vaults, and well lit.
Couldn’t they just be quiet?
Just for a little bit?