Tuesday, 18 November 2014

On hearing singing in Tintern Abbey, 07/09/2014

Having written a poem about Llanthony Abbey I took quite a lot longer to write a poem about Tintern. I decided to go for a more abstract approach and kept in mind the work of Joseph Mallord William Turner, a view of the Abbey from upstream composed in 1828. I also thought a second poem about a ruin would just sound like the first and that might have...ruinous consequences...so me, my girlfriend, and her dog took off in Randolf the Red (my van) on a lovely sunny Sunday afternoon in early September on a Muse Mission to Tintern. I didn't want to go into the Abbey itself as I have done this countless times, but wander around on the opposite bank of the river and see if the Muse might come out and play! so, the three of us were mooching along when all of a sudden the sound of a choir, singing inside the Abbey, came to us bouncing off the river, faint, haunting. The omens were on.

On hearing singing in Tintern Abbey, 07-09-14

Song, a séance of everything body,
cutting mind and soul from soft ligatures,
we sink our fleets in stone belted harbours
and swim in a hope of drowning slowly;
the occult of our marked anatomy
expanding to the ilk of nebulas,
a moon in a thaw of pregnant fetters,
new oceans aligning to gravity.

The river is a song of human skin;
a constant touch in a flux of itself
into the weightless need of swimming blood.
Cooled viscosity suddenly climbing
under thinner water to nowhere else.
A prayer answered
                               in the one place it could.