Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Not An Elegy

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.



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

Of fellatio.”)


                             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.

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