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Tag Archives altar

WITHOUT END

Now old enough at seven to sleep

in a little tent with her cousins

in the garden on a July night, she was

abducted, stifled, man-handled down

the shallow hill to the pebble beach

below the paddling pool, abused, murdered.

 

Next to the shelter by the pool, the council built

a playground with climbing frame and slide,

removed part of the shelter to house

a memorial her parents commissioned –

an open metal box, almost an altar,

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ANTIQUITY

Ancient Greeks preferred it to chronicles

for poetry is the art of maybe,

the alchemy which turns fact into song.

 

‘Antiochus honours the saviours of men,

the immortals, Asclepius of

the gentle hands, Hygeia, Panakeia.’

On the margins of barbarity

and wilderness,  a Greek army doctor

commissioned a recondite altar – found

some seventeen hundred years later

when Chester’s Market Hall, its pediment

topped with cornucopia, was flattened.

 

Centuries before the Twentieth

was stationed here,

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