Jeremiah in a Church in Thornbury

17 July 2018

Night falls like the silence
between rich choral notes,
in the pause when sound collapses
and drops to the pavement outside.

Dusk is a held breath. Night falls
and the day’s hangover glitters
mystical and blue, hanging in streamers
from the sky, like song suspended.

Here the fading pews are washed
in the ancient light of dusk.
Light creeps down the walls
and across the plywood altar.

I feel a terrible dislocation again,
one that lives slightly to the left
of time, of desert sands
and walls that shone in glory.

Night falls across the land
and I know I am become vile.
I am spun with grief for this dead city
which laments itself in every town.

I am become vile. My veins
and arteries are littered
with corpses; they threaten
to clog my brain in rotting mounds.

Carrion pick through the rubble
of my mind, the toppled temples,
the crumbling music halls
where once the choirs sang.

The darkness webs from
shattered homes in silence,
and spreads through the petrol-stations
and the pizza shops on Saint Georges Road.

Night falls, but perhaps song
will flood those streets again
one day, perhaps this empty church
will mean something to the dead.

In truth, I like the dark,
but it can’t be allowed everything.
I’ll reach into the night
and pluck a glimmering pearl.

I’ll hold it so close to me.
All ye who pass me in the street,
behold! Inside my plywood cathedral
I hold eternity in my breast.

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