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Tag Archives God

MADELEINE MOMENTS

‘And suddenly the memory returns. The taste was that of the little crumb of madeleine…’

REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PAST, Marcel Proust

 

The day the season’s second Atlantic storm

was due there was I – after a sausage

and bacon bap with brown sauce and an Earl Grey

in the heritage station’s draughty café –

celebrating my 74th birthday

with my small family in a British Rail

standard compartment on the Santa Special.

 

We journeyed from Llangollen to Lapland

(aka Carrog) with mince pies,

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THE DESERTED WAGON

It was county council green, wooden, with
metal-rimmed wheels and a curved roof
like a Roma caravan, and a triangular limber
for towing by clanking, ponderous steamrollers –
before petrol driven lorries took the road menders
to and fro in what, for a time, would have seemed
like no time at all. This one – abandoned pre-war –
was parked, throughout my childhood, on the verge
at a country cross roads.

It entered my dreams. I thought God worked there,
hunched in his robes above an operating table,
serious in his beard,

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JUBILEE

‘Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubile to sound…and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.’ Leviticus 25:9 & 25.10

 

Much of the chapters and footnotes of England’s,

though not Britain’s, history are scribed here

in stone and iron – Roman Walls, Norman weir,

marshalling yards – the rest is on paper,

of course, and from hearsay. It is said,

for example, for Victoria’s Jubilee,

in our street,

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THE PATH OF LIFE

‘The Path of Life’, the front covers of ‘The Haywain’ triptych by Hieronymous Bosch, circa 1500

 

A traveller, who looks permanently

the other way, cannot see the hanging

on a nearby hill and is about to step

on the first, cracked stone of a footbridge.

A journey is the oldest metaphor,

next to God. Christ, enthroned, transforms the lucent

angels, falling, into winged plagues.

And the next metaphor. Hell’s ceaseless,

all accommodating horrors are almost

more than image.

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WHICH PASSETH UNDERSTANDING

With wind soughing in the churchyard yews,

lichen marking the gravestones of labourer

and landowner, Saxon foundations,

mediaeval tower, sunlight fitful

through worthy Victorian stained glass,

a brass plaque for ‘those who gave their lives’,

the wheezy organ, the orotund Order

for the Burial of the Dead, ‘I am the

resurrection and the life…’ the vicar’s

gentle eulogy of the deceased,

one is almost tempted to wish God

were in his heaven where ‘we shall all

be changed…in the twinkling of an eye’

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