Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Decaying Church

With thanks to mon frere for patience and MacNeice for inspiration

These chipped and weathered planks in tired row
Grow mutely crab-wise through the drifting gold.
Old and stark in mellow autumn time,
Grimy sentinels liveried in flaking mold.
Cold stirs a sigh and breeze in grass below
Blows dry leaves through the church-bell�s muffled chime.

The creeping green velvet fingers go
Slowly probing up the walls behind.
Blind panes stare amber-tinted light.
Tight-bound patterns of Victorian mind
Find ease amid the fading glow.
Yellow plaster walls slide into tropic night.

Seventh day, seventh year, seventh decade past,
Fast fading. Dust thou art and unto dust
Must thou in time return.
Fern cascades shield the crumbling corpse from urban lust.
Just a song at twilight shimmers, dying fast.
Last echoes fade. Beyond, the creeping watch-fires burn.



Shades of Larkin, mon frere! My kind of stuff!

Pragya said...

Magnifique, frere de James!


Rhymebawd said...

Lovely. The first two stanzas especially, and the last couple of lines.

Dan Husain said...

Yeah! Philip Larkin seems to be possesing everyone here. Magnificient.

J. Alfred Prufrock said...

This is what Derrida was about - I would never have thought Larkin until you guys Opined. I was actually inspired by the rhyme-scheme in "The Sunlight on the Garden", that entire last-word-of-one-line with first-word-of-the-next bit.

It's euphonious.

And Rhymebawd (inspired, that label), I appreciate your delicate trashing of the third stanza. Bear with me, I was about 18 when I wrote that.