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

Truth Divine.

 

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.

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