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Monday 30 July 2012
The Starling Proposition
like funeral bell
calls the faithful to their prayers.
Sounds ring - shine
like blinding light
into the ears of corn
waveward oil seed rape
and poppy-pupilled meadow grass.
stir the dust
in churchyard graves
permit the ghosts
to walk again.
They make their way to church.
are the mimed
the almost silent
footsteps of the faithful.
Only the ghosts
are called by name
hear their names
in the long list of names
the slow toll of the bell reads out.
Are not the meadowlands,
the woods with their green corridors
the warrens that the rabbits make -
all this and more
is this not something of a broader church? I'm asked.
Above the dark hills
a galaxy of starlings
whirls in a crazy gravity
forms patterns - a geometry
like fish nets cast
or dancers' veils in fishtail winds.
Upon reflection, I decide: it's answer of a sort.
Yet still the bell tolls on,
its more considered voice
the basis of an argument for some design intent.
supine upon the stone grave
I just happen to be visiting,
a tiny saviour,
spiny corpse of hedgehog stretched
out X-wise on the slab,
countering the Starling Proposition.
Nature teems with crude solutions to the problems posed by life.
tells that his postate killed him.
(No first year engineer
would ever have come up with such a crude device -
arguments based on design
can work both ways...)
Within the yellow-lighted church
among the flickering candles,
perhaps where incense burns
debate is stilled
and faith less focussed than before.