This poem is related to the last one I posted. It was written a few years later- and belongs to my "angry" phase. The anger is something I now longer feel entirely comfortable with. These days- insofar as I care one way or the other- I'm sorry rather than pleased that the Church had to sell its pretty, Jacobean retreat house to a footballer.
NOT AN ELEGY
Seen from the air, in this online photo
The hills look like nothing, like ripples in sand,
But me, I’ve climbed ‘em. I’ve weaved and I’ve wended
From valley to valley. I know they can kill you.
I once had them try. The day is yellow
With inky blue cloud shadows speeding off east.
I point at a gap in the boskage, “And that,
Is Crawshawbooth.” It’s a smear of brightness.
“Phil Neville’s place ?”
“Well no, the retreat house-
My faith took sick there.”
“It’s been sold on.
He’s cut the big trees down to let in light.
The whole of Man United came
To his housewarming party. The limos and sports cars
Were bumper to bumper.”
(I’m stood with the others
Under the grimy old plaster-work ceiling
With pendulous knobs, and the Bishop of Manchester,
Dead now, says, “The body of Christ”
And places the host on my tongue and I’m praying
“Dear God, just for once let this not make me think
Well, the things I grew up with
Are passing away. This is just one instance.
Out go the parsons and in comes the shining
Great swarm of the footballing Joes with their gals
And celebrity pals. It makes me so glad.