The Changes

Grandsire Doubles – 25 Feb 1939; Doubles (9 methods) – 5 June 1991;

Surprise Minor (7 Methods) – 4 Nov 2002; Spliced Minor (14 Methods) –

20 Feb 2011

Felstead Database of Peals, Coleshill Tower

Water is plasma

shuddering in combustion,

the grass shudders,

the bluebells

are a shuddering haze

 

and your blood is honey.

It stays in the mouth

like guilt,

rumour, grief,

a necessary meal.

 

I’m afraid

of the untouched body,

silence,

the priest waiting

in the garden.

 

*

 

Your blood is honey.

It fills the mouth

like guilt,

rumour, grief.

A necessary meal,

 

but what’s nearer

or more real

than the sweetness

in the vein,

that sticky dew?

 

Will the freshet

in the cup

rinse away the taste

of lamb and salt,

oil and rosemary?

 

*

 

Elected silence

stirs

as if to say

Before you were, I am.

Local, huge,

 

it’s full

of the milkiness of wings,

rain-light,

the sussuration

of hungers.

 

Your blood is honey,

stays in the mouth

like guilt,

shame, grief,

those necessary meals.

 

*

 

Once again

the prayer room

with its milky light,

its private

pragmatic silence.

 

Your blood is honey.

It stays in the mouth

like guilt,

rumour, grief;

their sweet and salt

 

is to be eaten

here, among red armchairs,

in the odour

of new carpet;

to be eaten now.

 

*

 

It is right –

to be the lamb

who must trust the shepard,

which is to say death?

Your blood is honey.

 

The priest smokes a cigarette

among the shadows

in the silent garden,

Lives of the Saints

under his arm.

 

Guilt, rumour,

grief –

look how they break

from the vein

into the surgeon’s cup.

 

Fiona Sampson

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s