The churchyard

30 Nov

I sometimes eat my lunch in the churchyard 

Of St James, if the weather is decent –

Away from the office, a distraction

From the Telephone and Computer Screen.

Many others have the same idea        

And often the benches that line the path

And the grass, still scattered with blank gravestones,

Are full of sandwich-eating office staff,

Shouting students, dog-walkers, push-chair mums;

The new parishioners, praying for sun           

And pay-rises, love-lives blessed and blissful,

A shot at Fame, an easy afternoon.


Why here? Are we seduced by the promise

Of silence? Or solace? The ancient dead,

Magnetised by ignorance and despair,

Could not escape. Encaged, their plaintive prayers

Remain unanswered, and their souls still tug

At the gates of heaven’s rusted hinges.


Not us. The Enlightened, when doomsday comes,

Will be here by Chance. Blown in like dead leaves.



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