Cathedral – a poem by Julie Sampson


All around this echo-chambered womb a rush
a beat………..the drone…… cathedral bees
the bells…… (Cull)
their toll……. this ebb and weft of words

We come to crouch in choir stalls,
this morning it is (lambing) lamentation time

the rite is drawing close

near …….we stop to bow our heads
Dies Irae……. Dona Eis

Writers making our votive scripts
we pause at candles’ inspiration

wait for the lost in absent sound
to call us

Dreaming through her emblem-well
St Sidwell in the crypt of archaic memory
swathes her scythe,
her sword is gold in the rubescent field.


Note: The last Foot and Mouth outbreak in Devon, in 2001, had a huge impact on the rural community, with repercussions that still resonate with many people. St Sidwell is associated with Devon. As martyr her severed head possessed the power of healing: flowers were said to bloom whenever a drop of blood was sprinkled on the earth where she died.

In recent years Julie Sampson‘s poetry has appeared in a variety of magazines, including Shearsman, Ink Sweat and Tears, The Journal, Amaryllis PoetryThe Algebra of Owls, Molly Bloom, The Poetry Shed, The Lake, Amethyst Review, Poetry Space and Pulsar. Shearsman published her edition of Mary Lady Chudleigh; Selected Poems, in 2009 and a full collection, Tessitura, in 2014. A non-fiction manuscript was short-listed for The Impress Prize, in 2015 and a pamphlet, It Was When It Was When It Was, was published by Dempsey and Windle, March 2018.

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