Where a feral cat has scragged a bird-
One of those pigeons that roost up high
On the weeping walls of Kirkstall Abbey.
Damn, but when the summer comes
And the girls in shorts and halter tops
Walk through what is a public park
With their little babies in their strollers,
This place might be jolly. It isn't now
For the sky is an undifferentiated
Grey and the wrong that Harry the king did
Breathes from the stones. Along this cloister
The brothers filed with their rheumatiz
And their aching teeth and every three hours
Had paradise inflicted on them
In song. Really, I'm glad it's all over-
The rule of churchmen. I only regret
How it happened and how their treasure went
On sweeteners and guns. O, Juno Februa,
Goddess of fevers, including sex,
Turn my mind elsewhere. Your month hurts
But mainly from yearning, mainly with longing
For change. The crocus, your purple crocus,
Peeks like a clitoris from the rough.
Kirkstall Abbey is just outside Leeds in South Yorkshire. Like all the English monasteries it was shut down (and looted) by Henry VIII.