A view of Fountains Abbey.
A twisted theology laid low by greed
And overweening pride,
Eternally drawn and quartered,
Racked by sunlight
Under an open plainsong sky,
Presumption brought to book.
Not counterfeit in paint and coloured glass
But in that which lives, and grows around
Where subtle shades of green
Smile out the faith within the stone,
Only Mammon lies in ruins;
Nature gives expiation of her own.
See how the woods and ivy claim their own.
What is it whispers in this graveyard grove?
No lighted windows glimmer through the trees,
Spring saplings in new growth
A poem of one of our northern saints.
Where seabirds cry the song they taught him;
A man himself afraid too afraid to cry,
Yet must have wept in secret.
Did he hear above the turmoil and the anger
Within the wilderness, his soul wracked in pain
Of self-induced longing, impatient to be free,
Melded with frailty, alloyed with faith
Yet hardly knowing where to turn.
Are there as many prayers as stars that burn?
Had he that minds eye that sees
The ebb and flow of tide as in an instant
Storm or calm, where stars reflected in the sea
Are matched to shimmering candles?
Though some who gaze on sand see only sand;
He, the working of the Hand that grinds it down.