with gentle Thomas Stothard and Ogleby,
above the jousting outlines
above the Medway,
above the seven maws of the Dragon,
before the files of disposables
marching Upnor’s crooked dust
up, onto scorched foreheads—
and you shall return to dust—before
the clouds white trailing beard—before
the hammer, grey hollow shell—before
the mud shaped
into bricks, baked
into numbers, stamped
in God’s image he created him.
He floats coppered points
in readiness, to draw the poison from with-
in the adders mouth,
blurring the chalked drenched banks
blurring away the curtain wall
blurring away the driftwood
let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the sky
beyond the ragstone blocks
beyond the stakes sharped to splinter
beyond the sentinel spitting at the French spies
and the handcuffs haloed
They float. glowing fierce as fallen cherubs
wings smoked and
splayed dumb as doves.
with Albion, singing
with every child a Jesus
clothed with the sun.
God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.
© 2018 SM Jenkin 2018
First appeared in ‘Fire in the Head’ published by Wordsmithery
Bibliophile. Poet. Aspirational Alto Sax player and Irish speaker. Editorial advisor for Confluence Medway.