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O house of Israel, cannot I do an even more wonderful work with you?

November and blazing beeches burnish

Budburrow Hill.  My birthday was this month

and it was on the twentieth we wed.

I did not mind Signor was sixty nine.

He was wary of making the mistake

of marrying a much younger girl-

though I was no virgin Ellen Terry,

but a determined lassie from Loch Ness,

who’d taught clay modelling to tough shoeblacks.

I told him : giving ourselves is the one

necessary gift. So, he acquiesced.

We came to Limnersleave and there he said,

We must build something…I rose with the sun

on the day of consecration and

picked a bunch of white poppies; stood inside.

He puffed up the path, past the Irish yews

into our thoughts, embodied in this form,

through the oak and chestnut door created

by Compton joiners, with Tau cross hinges:

Passover symbols forged by local smiths.

He marvelled at the moulded angel faces

manufactured by the village children.

The bell in the campanile struck a C:

Be my voice neither feared nor forgotten

was its inscription. Walls’ surface shadows

pointed the sorrows and dark side of life.

Perhaps I foreknew that the lachrymals

would contain the oil of joy for mourning

when I placed his ashes in my casket,

here, before the arcuated frontal,

lit by my terracotta candlesticks:

the intimate alongside the sublime.

My glorious prismatic tapestries,

golden corbels and feathered seraphim

revealed all creation as God’s garment.

Butterflies emerge from their chrysalis

and a phoenix rises from its embers.

The circle of life is intersected

by the cross of redeeming love.  A vine

coils everywhere and we are its branches.

I tried to capture Growth/ Decay; Flow/ Ebb,

to leave a memorial to all those

who perished in The Great War.

Those peacocks did not stand for earthly pride,

But for the hope of Immortality.

And now, three hundred yards from the A3,

the tabernacle of the Lord stands firm:

His treasure was in an earthen vessel.

He was the Potter and I was the clay.

See what came from the fiery furnace.