Chew Magna

I was actually sitting in the empty sun-drenched church when I wrote this. I am the silent watcher.

Bright sunlight slanting on the altar cloth
Picks out pale sculpted flowers, and falls
Across a bleached and fraying mat thrown
On the bald stone of the sanctuary step.
Old shadows hover piously about
Squat pillars shouldering a massive
Low slung arch. Behind the vestry door
The previous verger's ghost is hiding, all
Agog to witness and to disapprove
Disturbances of dog or tramp or child.
But nothing, absolutely nothing stirs
The silent watcher in the dusty pew.
Simple prayer, or utter vacancy
Of mind, either can rest a troubled heart,
And who can know what blessing will be found
By sitting quiet here on this old ground?

© David Collins October 2010
(It was, I realised later, actually Chewton Mendip, but Chew Magna is a better title)