Memories (4)

Today’s photo is a lovely shot of  the former Barony St John’s Church building, taken from Ardrossan’s South Beach. From this angle you can see the Isle of Arran just creeping into the background. For reasons of safety (and with much sadness) the congregation vacated the building in November 2011. It was recently sold to a Charity, so it may eventually come back into community use.  (Photo is by Peter Ribbeck/)

This poem called “Please close this door quietly” was written for the National Churches Trust by Rowan Williams

The slow, loud door: pushing against

a mound of dust, dust floating
heavily in a still room; step
slowly,

Stones can deceive. The ground looks
firm, but the dust makes you blink
and feel for purchase. This is
marshland,

Difficult light to sting eyes, terrain
whose spring and tangle hides deep
gaps, cold pools, old workings;
careful.

Too much left here of unseen lumber
dropped, knowingly or not, behind
the door to trip you while you rub
awkwardly

At naked eyes, opened on thick,
still, damp, scented air, imprinted
used and recycled, not clearing up,
catching:

The weather of memory. Underfoot
lost tracks wind round an ankle
and abandoned diggings, wells, mines,
foundations,

Wait for your foot to find them,
drop you into the unexpected chill,
the snatched breath and swift
seeing,

The bird’s flap at the edge
of your eye’s world: things left
but alive; a space shared; a stone
yielding.

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