St Swithun’s Lament


You stand, my constant, the bitter sweet remnants

of what it once meant to be a child; so wildly

unafraid of collapse. And at the distant altar of

Butter Cross, a musician’s cap obscures his eyes while he

prays to sandstone and granite for starry nights.

Few stop but a peach-stone boy mines his trouser pockets for

old coins and does not  yet realise that this is enough.

To keep the taste of steel in cavities between sett milk teeth

long into this evening. What is art if not the craft of having

absolutely none of the answers and creating

something anyway?


I buried him with stained and shattered glass by the

north wall like you’d asked all those years ago.

I must confess I’ve never much appreciated quiet or its

confrontations until I saw them written in chalk there,

upon lamenting hilltop, where I can still hear the

melody of that Pink Floyd song we listened to the first time.

Perhaps my worst kept secret is how much I love to view

this city by only looking up. An achy, sacrificial neck for

a memory of perfect Caen. The first place I loved to tears

and the only thing that is still here for me to write about

in present tense.