A City Church – a poem by Helen Jones

   A City Church

Here you may bathe in silence,
The thud of traffic on the road wiped out
By eternity.
Here stones breathe out
The softened breath of centuries.
Here men have worked,
Patiently coaxing worlds from wood and stone
To make creation new.

Here, each strike of chisel, chip of wood,
Has fed a quest for the divine.
Here the vaults oar towards a distant heaven,
Carvings unseen are carefully teased out,
Made perfect, not for sight of men,
But for the eye of God.

Rough craftsmen, hardened by a bitter world
Brought life from stone,
Pictures of those in power, long despised,
Making their noses long, their chins too big.
Carpenters made the dark wood bloom
To fill an aching void.
Here monkeys and grotesques,
Pigs running, pipes blaring, 
Angels, lute-playing, wives beating,
Elephants trumpeting, lions roaring,
Ploughmen who turn the sodden land
And women gleaning after harvest.

Here velvet rose flowers and the lily blooms,
Vines twist abundant, gentle Mary smiles,
Green men are peeping from the tangled woods
To watch good souls go climbing up to heaven.
Here pig and rose, the pipes and lilies,
Today and yesterday, what is to come, 
All sing as one, creator’s bounty
Under an arc of grace.

Helen Jones gained a degree in English, many years ago from University College London and later an M.Ed. from the University of Liverpool. She is now happily retired and spends a lot of her time writing and making a new garden. 

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