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Tony Grist

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Angel [May. 18th, 2008|11:17 am]
Tony Grist



The others are drinking

Or snug with their childer;

I hear their babble,

The gull shriek of girls.

That story of Babel,

It bothers me sometimes.

Have we built too high

Will God strike us with fire?

But the moon seems no closer

When viewed from this tower.

God’s in no danger.

Between us and heaven

There’s miles and miles.

Here are my tools

There’s stone that needs smoothing;

I could do it by lamplight.

That’s not why I’m here.

My wife and my childer

Are all in the churchyard.

A solitary man

Might as well spend his evening

Sat on this cliff

Looking out at the sky

And down to the flight

Of the bats and the owls

And consider just how

The wings should be curved

And the feathers lie

Of this angel he’s carving.


[User Picture]From: saare_snowqueen
2008-05-18 01:04 pm (UTC)
That's beautiful. Well done.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-05-18 01:07 pm (UTC)
Thank you.

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[User Picture]From: mummm
2008-05-18 04:57 pm (UTC)
Again, a wonderful piece.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-05-18 06:53 pm (UTC)
Thank you.

This and the one about the Stonemason's daughter are my favourites.
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[User Picture]From: mummm
2008-05-18 07:04 pm (UTC)
I also especially like those two, though I like them all.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-05-18 07:06 pm (UTC)
Thay hang together I think- all parts of a greater whole.
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[User Picture]From: mummm
2008-05-18 07:07 pm (UTC)
I agree!
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2008-05-22 07:45 pm (UTC)
I love the rhythm. And the images, and finding the small surprise at the end--so that is what the person sitting on the cliff is wondering about.

(This morning, walking through town, I saw a woman sitting very still on a bench at the edge of the commons; she was looking toward the ash tree on the hill. I had planned to walk across the commons, but went around on the sidewalk instead, so as not to disturb her--somehow I didn't want to enter her dream.)

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-05-22 08:01 pm (UTC)
He's a master mason. I don't know whether he's late medieval or Victorian- it doesn't really matter- and he's sitting on the central tower of Durham cathedral.

Of course the poem was partly inspired by Gormley's wonderful Angel of the North.
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