Cirencester Abbey Grounds by Sophie Livingston
velcro shoes on
the line of a lost church,
her mother texting
from a bench,
marked with the name of Herbert Stack,
Perched on the playground fence,
a fretwork of boys, like birds,
while on the ground
a kneeling man
grubs about the see saw’s base.
a bench chained to a tree,
where Leo still loves Channelle
in marker pen,
a man runs panting with his dog,
past the succinct, disrupted graves
of Thomas Fox and Captain Day,
and others stacked against the shed,
and Players Gold Leaf on the ground
says Smoking Kills and UK Duty Paid.
And Alexander Neckam writes of fish
Impregnated by the air,
Earthquakes made by giant winds that
Roar in caverns underground.
Oceans higher than their shores,
So only God may keep mankind from flood.
Nine hundred years of thought ago – an abbot’s Wikipedia.
On this patch of grass, his desk, his walls,
Where God’s code lay in letters,
Or a bend of light,
A blade, a gem, a leaf unfurled.
He makes a poem of the world.
the 417 roaring to the traffic lights
and through the arch, in winter light,
like stars of ice, the floating leaves ignite.
A pelican bleeds her young to life,
and she-bears lick their formless cubs to shape,
RC loved DR in 1829
carved it deep on Spitalgate,
and someone says ‘F… Nitrogen’
seems to mean something.