Pause for Prayer

Ivy-clad tree-trunks
     support the vaulted ceiling
Naturally lit
     by the sun at its mid-May zenith;
 Down the bridle path
     the priests, their barrow wheeling,
Loaded with implements
     forged by the village blacksmith,
Dressed in olive-green
     T-shirts adorned with chicory,
Making them friends
     with each other and also the wood;
With yesterday's rain
     sprinkled from branches of the sanctuary
Sanctifying the gang
     from the local neighbourhood.

In sylvan choir stalls,
     blackbirds chirp their arrival,
Till the server calls,
     summoning for biscuits and tea,
Mid-morning communion
     shared round the altar of survival,
Before returning
     to work in jovial camaraderie,
Sweating away
     in hard labour, whistling and singing
With wood lice and earwigs,
     till the Angelus starts ringing.

Friends of Jubilee Country Park at work in Thornet Wood, once owned by the Bishop of Rochester.

May 2016

Photo: Chicory in Jubilee Country Park
per kind favour: Susan Foulkes