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The Cleric

I heard new words prayed at cows
in the
byre, found his sign

on the crock and the hidden still,


smelled fumes from his censer
in the first
smokes of morning.

Next thing he was making a progress


through gaps, stepping out sites,
sinking his crozier deep

in the fort-hearth.


If he had stuck to his own
cramp-jawed abbesses and intoners
dibbling round the enclosure,


his Latin and blather of love,
his
parchments and scheming
in letters shipped over water -


but no, he overbore

with his unctions and orders,
he had to get in on the
ground.


History that planted its standards
on his
gables and spires

ousted me to the marches


of skulking and whingeing.
Or did I desert?

Give him his due, in the end


he opened my path to a kingdom
of
such scope and neuter allegiance
my
emptiness reigns at its whim.