Brian Taylor

(England)

OXFORD: MICHAELMAS


Christ Church meadow
is awash with driving rain
and a wind which bites the skin
and chills the blood within.
Its paths are sticky, yellow mud.
And the Cherwell, brown and dull,
slips ever higher.
Ducks, moorhens, squirrels
endure it.
As they endure frost and ice
and the teeth of pike,
the ill-will of dogs
and the harrassment of herons.

I retreat to Merton,
and the medieval silence
of its Tower.

Greeted by the bell,
I stand quite still in the chapel
and look to the east
through glass which escaped Thomas Cromwell's
iconoclastic rampages
and still permits a medieval vision.

The Tower grew
out of 15th century wealth,
at the high-tide mark
of a millenium of Christian culture.

Forty years later,
Coumbus set sail,
carrying this Christian culture and began
the destruction of the culture
of the New World
(Man's inhumanity to Man) ,
inaugurating five hundred years
of poverty and misery
for its survivors.

Here. Now. The peace is palpable,
the chapel empty.
A patient fountain
round which thirsty crowds swirl and turbulate
in the December cold.

They wander along St. Aldates and Merton Lane,
through Magpie Lane and eastward up the High,
trying to appease an undiagnosed,
spiritual ache
by scratching
where
it does not itch.

Submitted: Monday, December 08, 2008

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Comments about this poem (OXFORD: MICHAELMAS by Brian Taylor )

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  • Min Sia (12/8/2008 6:13:00 AM)

    So deep..yet the message's revealing...

    The powerful words..so strong as it hits every reader...

    Truly..a masterpiece..only great poets could make...

    Thanks for sharing, dear poet... (Report) Reply

Read all 1 comments »

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