Recently I spent a happy a few hours wandering around
St Mary Redcliffe Church, photographing the amazing gargoyles of grimacing animals and hybrid half man half pig type embellishments peeking out from the masses of concrete ivy chiselled into a vast assortment of archways and ancient crannies.
In time, with stomach rumbling and mobile phone on twenty percent , I left the carvings and the must-damp coolness, and while the quite scary religious blokes who are for ever stoned upon the high outer walls watched, I pootled my way into our lovely city in search of grub.
Somehow my car fume fuelled feet found me at The fine Cathedral on Park Street, and what the f? With almost no thought towards my need for another one of their oversized scones and strong coffee, I stopped at the Saxon plaque that is silently hung at the entrance of some murky side crypt.
I stopped and pondered the plaques blurred stone work, which, I was reliably informed, shows Jesus being pulled into the underworld by some insistent gaggle of less than lovely lost and grasping types.
The resulting disconcerted scribbles made upon a wobbly table, in between the coffee stains and buttery scone crumbs later transformed into this kind of weird poem…
Caged white folk in missed pigeon shit
And Old Testament zeal like sad poultry sit
In the sunshine, biding their perch
Until wreathed in the New-cut throb twilight
Poached by soft lamplight, they chill out
To evensong-scum-tide, as dark times approach.
Gall-gothic grimaces steep dust by the day
While intertwined surfaces are eaten away by
Diesel lead carriages until moonlight unfolds
Vine screed wine skinned ancient gargoyles and
Big bearded blokes sceptred to ride the
Four-legged tree folk, who leaping on wing
Of gossamer swift true grit, fly bold to some walled crypt
To save Christ the King from a nightly torn grippage
Through gnarled grasping cracks of red nails, wails and stoned teeth
Upon Dark Saxon plaque, dragging Passion downward
While underworlds peek up cassock to sip fresh blood
From chunks in His feet.
And paced at some distance, two foreign faces
Both wise and benign, emerge from stoned entrance
And follow gently behind, to spin Sufi wisdom of
Otherness and love, to encircle and question
That Heaven’s above,
That Hell is below us
That wrath may destroy us
That only we know how to define
The gateway to Oneness and thus
Let Icons be bygones, return tamed to One womb
Of moist waves and vibrations, until desert lands bloom
And the profits lost leaders, sow loves lightening speech
To grow fresh simple cities, where the warmed rivers meet.