Poem of the Month


Cirencester Abbey Grounds by Sophie Livingston


Gathered together,

velcro shoes on

slabs, hop-scotching

the line of a lost church,

her mother texting

from a bench,

marked with the name of Herbert Stack,

who died

in 1976.


Perched on the playground fence,

a fretwork of boys, like birds,

while on the ground

a kneeling man

with spanners

grubs about the see saw’s base.


Gathered together,

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,

His universe,

Where God’s code lay in letters,

Or a bend of light,

A blade, a gem, a leaf unfurled.



All meaningful,

He makes a poem of the world.





Gathered together,

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’


gathered together,

seems to mean something.