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After dark, down the steep lanes of the Great Orme –

a two mile long limestone promontory,

named by Norsemen for a dragon’s head –

past the synagogue and the funicular,

avoiding the temptations of the Pier,

into the lamp-lit, locked-down thoroughfare,

came the Kashmiri billy goats, white as snow,

as clouds, as sea spume. Runaways or outcasts

from a flock imported for their wool,

occasional mascots for the Royal Welsh,

those noisome foragers with their prophets’ beards

and trophy horns capered to the churchyard

and its privet hedges, while the nannies

and the kids slept on ledges above the sea.


All were indifferent to what was written

in the pages of Ecclesiastes,

left open by chance in the church where no one

worshipped now, on the eagle-shaped lectern

made of brass: ‘But if a man live many years,

and rejoice in them all; yet let him

remember the days of darkness; for they shall

be many. All that cometh is vanity.’



© Copyright David Selzer
1 Response
  • Hugh Powell
    April 24, 2020

    One may always find something in a church, and it’s not too far fetched to think of those OT patriachs, like whiskered goats, their wives and children held away.

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