To see heaven as a length of seashore

And months of bird watching. To stalk the fells

Like a stork trying to get aloft.

To hear wind and river both as voices

And the word Christ like a skin of ice

Crackling under shrill December stars.

One day a week to lift the host

And fortified wine. To have water the rest,

And mutton, cold mutton, mutton stew,

A kipper on Friday, and the desk for poems

And a space of lamplight for the eyes,

Wife and child, like farmers in the combes,

Elsewhere with their own preoccupations,

One God for the drowsy villagers

In the matte black pews, and another,

True God, for the squealing curlew And the red kite on her foundnest.

By Mark Jarman