Wetherby Road

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;

continuity
in time’s long empire
has brought the air here
and the soft water
and me

Republican

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 irradiacy
The faintly dissonant organ
Of which echoes softly pour

Whitby Church Hymn

Those limestone souls, a crowd surge to the gates
where wooden beams nourishing wyrm, 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 – playing with a certain joy, and lit
as the moon brings him a cawing custom of hope.

But chaos, in its own self certitude
sways slowly forth in undulations of infinite patience
caressing those lucky ones inside

Where more are lost, soft names dissolving
As the waiting hollows reveal their shapes, and the less
In turn await their pockmarking.

Notre Dame or The Atheist

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?