a peel of bells

the lives of ancients
whisper in my bones
calling from a distant mist
they sigh across these
lush sinuate fields
seeping into musty
stone flagged towers

with hands that have caressed
these gnarled knots of oak
centuries smoothed from
green lanes that wind
through every albion fibre
and myriad ribbons of water
salvaging what has past

I step in their shadows
and know their hearts
with each drop of rain
and whip of wind
i am transendent, lost
in their peel of bells
throwing joy to the sky

cenotaph

the sun always shines on this day
bathing now empty echoing streets
they breathe silently
ready to receive dark memories
from trench and desolate field

white lions of inglorious empires
look down at Portland faced mansions
witness to bearskin and boot
their coated ranks rooted in solemn lines
faces to the empty tomb
waiting for the million dead to come
then raise brass and drum
to whisper Nimrod
and sooth their tortured souls.