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