Markings 127

Ruined Chapel

Here beneath the wind’s contrition

and above the ephemeral splendour of the grass

it has both carefully managed and maintained

the stations of eternal things.

Now it has become a sky scoured shell

where falling stones refill a vault of empty praise

the closed gospel of a winter’s morning decades past

when the last of two centuries of prayer

drifted like the vagaries of wood smoke

into airy nothingness as the congregation went home.

And is there nothing left of hymn or homily;

colour, cup - the dull wafer of piety and faith?

No - only in the bell-pull of old pine tree branches,

the dark and brooding lamentation of the birds.

Jeff Guess

©Jeff Guess 2018

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