The Stonemason

My Lady’s eyes are blind with smoke
And I must stand and watch her burn
I made her out of stone and oak
My Lady’s eyes are blind with smoke
And flames are catching on her cloak
I pray to God the wind will turn
My Lady’s eyes are blind with smoke
And I must stand and watch her burn

I made her out of oak and stone
And blue and red and light and glass
My Lady mine and mine alone
I made her out of oak and stone
Of blood and sweat and broken bone
But God has spoken ~ all things pass
I made her out of oak and stone
And blue and red and light and glass

Her smoking beauty burns my eyes
But I will raise her up again
Her ashes fill the Paris skies
Her smoking beauty burns my eyes
Behold the Phoenix! See her rise!
What mysteries God speaks to men
Her smoking beauty burns my eyes
But I will raise her up again

© Gail Foster 16th April 2019

 

The Sacred Presence

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For Felicity Walker

*

This morning, at the altar rail, I kneel

Beside a woman called Felicity

As delicate as china roses, frail

Much closer to the mystic veil than me

And as the priest approaches with the host

A ray of sun comes sudden from the east

Lord, let it shine on her, who needs it most

And waste it not on me, who needs it least

And so it comes, in blazing gold and white

Infusing her with glory as she prays

Behold, she is an angel full of light

Enfolded in the wonder of his ways

There at the altar with Felicity

I feel the sacred presence next to me

*

© Gail Foster 14th May 2017

Not In My Name

 

*

I wonder how she feels today

The Muslim girl I spoke to on the bus

The girl who had so many things to say

About how she feels free and safe with us

I wonder if today she feels the same

Dear child of the warm Damascan breeze

Cry God and Allah we are all the same

Not in my name, not in my name, please

*

© Gail Foster 23rd March 2017

The Publican and the Pharisee

 

*

The Publican and the Pharisee went for a walk after church

One wore pride and majesty, the other the marks of the birch

“I say, my man,” said the Pharisee, “will you tell if I come to your inn?”

“My lips are sealed,” said the Publican “let us sup of the wine of your sin”

The Publican and the Pharisee quaffed back a couple of jars

And then another two, then three, for such is the way in bars

And as they drank their wine, an odd phenomenon occurred

The crown of hubris lost its shine, the marks of the birch became blurred

“I say, my man,” said the Pharisee, “I’m feeling a little queer”

The Publican chuckled, mischievously, “Time for some shorts, and some beer”

The Pharisee, unused to drink, began to loose a screw

Became dishevelled, sweaty, pink, made a desperate run for the loo

Got locked in for a while, and had to crawl under the door

Got stuck, well hey, you have to smile, for half an hour or more

Was rescued by some rugby blokes, who loaned him some spare kit

And made up lots of witty jokes, about Pharisees covered in it

The Publican, sat at the bar, surveyed his sorry state

He wondered if he’d gone too far, in setting up his mate

“Just sit,” he said, “and listen well, for this I have to say

If I am surely bound for hell I’ll meet you on the way

You are no better, Sir, than I, no better, and no worse

Your spiritual wealth is an arrogant lie, and your pride is a cardinal curse

I’m no angel, I confess, but hypocrisy, mate, I abhor

I reckon I should grovel less, and you just a little bit more”

The Pharisee gave a little nod, and hiccupped in assent

Muttered softly “Sorry God”, and got his coat and went

The Publican then rang the bell, poured out a short, and sat

“Oh come on, God, you know the bloke, he really asked for that”

*

© Gail Foster 2016

The Work; Summer Solstice, Avebury

Written for the Gorsedd of Caer Abiri, Avebury, Wiltshire;

a Druid rhyme of seven verses

***

Across the land this morn, a roll of light

Gave birth to shadows, cast from chalky hills

The larks ascended, sang away the night

Vibrated sky to waking with their trills

‘Tis Summer; round the circle swirls the breeze

As darkness yields unto the swell of day

As every meadow hums with birds and bees

And scent of elder steals the breath away

This is the time, when earth craves heaven’s kiss

All full of lust, all bursting in its bloom

All lost in heady momentary bliss

Before the fall, and crashing down to doom

Now comes the wren, as if from nowhere blown

Within its beak a lively twig of oak

And suddenly, forth from a door of stone

Springs sacred fire, and wild midsummer smoke

And from within the smoke the King appears

From black stream spilled, the son of mountain high

With shield burnished bright by virgins’ tears

And salamander flame within his eye

Upon his head a crown of acorns sits

He holds a horn of gold from faery lands

Across his face a flick of fear flits

He plants his feet on earth, and solid stands

And She; blue butterflies around her head

Bare breasted, barefoot, riding a white mare

With piercing speedwell eyes to blind the dead

And poppies red all woven in her hair

She rides, in to the circle, on her horse

Dismounts in silence, looks him in the face

Above them both, the sun, stopped in its course

For here is now, and only now, this place

He touches her, he places sword to cup

She speaks some ancient magic without sound

Above their heads the heavens open up

Bright waterfalls of light pour to the ground

She touches him, and fossils shake from sleep

Electric rivers rise with shock and force

To flood the sky with fire from the deep

All light in circuit, flowing back to source

Just now, oh now, now come, now come; now gone

All energy subsides, and colours dim

They rise up from the ground they laid upon

He steps away, and bows, and She to him

A feather from a lark falls gracefully

To land among the flowers where they sat

He fades into the smoke, and so does She

And so The Work is done, and that is that

The wren returns, and sits upon a stone

A holly berry glistens at its feet

It sings a song through all the ages known

A song of earthly bliss, and heaven sweet

For all the Gods are one God, sang the wren

All Goddesses one Goddess, ‘neath one Sun

And we are one another, Gods, and men

As God and Goddess, joined together; One

***

© Gail Foster 2016

 

The Democracy Lark

The sweet song of the democracy lark

Once told of a bright and hopeful dawn

Now there is only a strident bark

And the whimper of sycophants that fawn

And worship the Trump and his massive wad

Lovers of money, with racist views

Vote for Mammon’s dodgy God!

The democracy lark is singing the blues

 

© Gail Foster 2016

On the Passing of Howard Marks

Howard Marks; a Clerihew

So, farewell Howard, Mr Nice

Massive reefers were your vice

Life’s but a spliff to puff and pass

All grass is weed, all flesh is grass

*

Wasted Angels

Howard Marks and God Almighty

Shared a spliff and had a whitey

Then had the munchies, and a bong

Annoying Peter with the pong

By which time it was far too late

To frisk young Howard at the gate

God, seeing Peter’s consternation

Outlined the process of creation

How on day three he made the weed

With every other tree and seed

To raise in some, apotheosis

And test some others, with psychosis

Now, Howard’s stash was pretty small

And didn’t last too long at all

So, as he didn’t see the point

Of heaven’s joys without a joint

He got his bong, and skins, and tin

Chucked all the roaches in the bin

And, following a wicked smell

Went wafting off to score, in hell

St. Peter looked above and groaned

As all the angels flew past, stoned

*

by Gail